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ACM Bass tutor Mike Nichols has been busy this year!
He’s been out on the road with the Novello Orchestra, doing a tour of La La Land in concert, in which they play the orchestral soundtrack live with the movie on screen. He’s also been touring with the Addams Family, featuring Carrie Hope-Fletcher, Samantha Womack and Les Dennis.
We caught up with him to find out more…
Hi Mike! How did you get into working on West End shows?
Like most good jobs it came through word of mouth. I spent the early part of my career playing function bands and cruise ships. On those gigs I met people who were doing theatre work and they recommended me for gigs. My first theatre job was a panto. Once I built up a reputation I started getting asked to dep on shows in the west end.
How was the tour with the Addams Family?
The Addams Family tour has been great fun. It’s been on Broadway already, but this is a new production for the UK. Musically it’s very varied. I play double bass and electric bass and there’s a lot of different styles of music in the show. The band are all great players and lovely people to hang out with. It’s great working with actors as well. Les Dennis and Sam Womack are more well known as soap stars but they are actually brilliant live performers. And Carrie Hope Fletcher does a fantastic job as Wednesday.
Tell us more about La La Land in concert – how did that come about?
What was it like working with the Novello orchestra?
I play bass guitar and double bass with the Novello Orchestra. We just did a tour performing the soundtrack of the movie La La Land in sync with a screening of the film.
I love orchestral work. It’s great being onstage with 50 or 60 people. It’s such a huge sound. A lot of the great new orchestral music these days is for film soundtracks and these live orchestra screenings are getting really popular. I think a lot of people in the audience had never heard a live orchestra before and you could tell they were blown away by it.
What have you got coming up for the rest of 2017?
It’s been a busy year but it’s not over yet! In November I’ll be working at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, on a new show called Tiger Bay which is a joint project with the Millennium Centre and Capetown Opera. It’s both fun and challenging working on a new show. The composer and the musical director are still in the process of developing the music and as a player you get to be part of that process.
My touring commitments this year meant I had to take time out from teaching at ACM, but I will be returning in January. Looking forward to meeting all the new students, and catching up with everyone else.
If you’d like to study at ACM and learn first-hand from world-class musicians like Mike Nichols, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.