Matthew Xia

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DJ Excalibah / Matthew Xia
BornWaltham Forest, London
GenresHip Hop
Occupation(s)DJ, Radio presenter, Director [1]

Matthew Xia is a British theatre director, DJ (under the name DJ Excalibah), composer, broadcaster and journalist.[1]

Early life[edit]

Xia was born to a Scottish and English mother and Jamaican father in Waltham Forest, London, and was raised in Leytonstone and Newham.[1][2][3]

Theatrical career[edit]

Xia's interest in theatre was encouraged when he joined the Theatre Royal Stratford East youth theatre. As a young actor he appeared in Tube Tale's Mouth directed by Armando Iannucci.

Xia was on the Board at the Theatre Royal Stratford East for 10 years, as well as being Associate Director there in 2009/2010.[4] Work here includes: I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky, Mad Blud, Re:Definition, Da Boyz (also musical director and composer), and as co-director Aladdin, Cinderella and The Blacks (also musical director and composer).

Xia was a founding member of Act For Change, a trustee for Artistic Directors of the Future and has served on the boards of Rich Mix (2008-2012) and Creative Futures.

In 2013, he was the recipient of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme bursary and took up the post as Director in Residence at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, where he directed the premiere of Daniel Matthew’s Scrappers and was Associate Director of the Everyman's opening ceremony.[4]

In 2013, he won the Young Vic’s Genesis Future Director award with his production of Sizwe Banzi is Dead, which sold out its six-week run at the Young Vic and was then followed by a six-week national tour.[4] He also directed the revival of Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange for the Young Vic in 2015 starring David Haig, Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris. From 2014-17 he was Associate Artistic Director at the Manchester Royal Exchange where he directed the Bruntwood Award-winning Wish List by Katherine Soper, Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods and Frankenstein adapted by April de Angelis.[4]

Xia was a member of the panel of judges for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017 alongside: Alfred Enoch, Lucy Prebble, Russell T. Davies, Lyndsey Turner, Michael Oglesby, Phil Porter, and chair Kirsty Lang. He was also a judge for the 2017 Alfred Fagon Award.

Selected theatre productions[edit]

DJ Excalibah[edit]

Formerly a DJ on BBC Radio 1Xtra where he presented his show, 'Tales From the Legend' until 2005,[5] in 2012 during the parade at the 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony, he presented a mix of global music along with DJ Walde and Goldierocks.[6] He has DJed at the Glastonbury Festival, Ministry of Sound, Fabric and clubs across Europe and the UK.[4] His other broadcast work includes BBC Radio 1, 6Music and Radio 4.[4]


Xia has written for The Stage, Hip Hop Connection, The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The Swordsman". Nupé. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  2. ^ "DJ Excalibah's new club night at The Broadway". 26 August 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  3. ^ "DJ Excalibah". Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "The SDUK Board". Stage Directors UK. Retrieved 4 January 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "DJ Excalibah". Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Paralympics Opening Ceremony playlist". 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.