10000000_856232741538562_7420764520553633441_n.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix
Around, hello, and welcome to business as unusual. Happy, Friday name is John Graden and improper things. And just to give a little bit of background as to what we doing here. Everyday and properties have created a Facebook page called Central London's. Look down support group. This is to give a platform for those businesses organizations and Charities that still running at the moment in central London, and we started doing these lives at
30 every single weekday, just to meet the people behind the scenes and give them the exposure that they deserve today. We're with West End actor. Nicolas McLean. I am really excited to speak to you today, necklace, and the West End is just such an iconic part of Central London. It's the reason for people coming to London, tourism of London. It was the first time. The reason I first ever came to London and first place, and the West End is just loved by all.
I'm so I think everybody is really Keen as well to find out how lockdown has affected it and just learn more about your journey. So hi. Hello. And Nicholas and tell. Obviously I know a lot more about you. But and tell everybody what you're currently starring as because you're in Wicked, aren't you? Yes, I am. So on January 20th, 2020. I opened in Wicked playing the role of Bach.
Rich is a show and a role that I'm very, very excited to be playing. I know that it's a, such a popular one in London, and I've seen it many times and I know quite a few people that have seen it many times, which is that it's just just goes to show that even when you've seen a West End, once you don't just see it. Once you, if you have the opportunity to go to the West End, you do go several times and I'm really intrigued and I know that a lot of people watching will be also really
Rigged and just your journey. Like how you got started in theater and what you went through to get there. Okay, so I guess it kind of all started for me in secondary school. Actually. I had a really, really strong drama department at my secondary school kid Brooke and we got the opportunity to partake in some really exciting opportunities like the taking shows to the Edinburgh, Fringe Festival and performing in professional, Theatres across London, British theater.
Sure and Riverside Studios and places like that. And then I guess I kind of realized that this was something I really, really wanted to do. So I auditioned for drama schools to do musical theater because I enjoyed singing as well and I actually didn't get him in drama school actually. And I was like, do you know what? No, no, they're wrong. So I wrote a letter to mount you and I said you've made a mistake and you've missed out.
And they are, they let me come back and audition again that year and then I actually did get in so perfectly round. I love failure to success stories. These are my best stories. That's amazing. Well little lady carry on, that's amazing. And so yeah, I did three years in musical theater at Mountview Academy Theater Arts, which was in wood green and his just relocated to a purpose-built campus in Peckham. So, yeah,
That was kind of how that all started for me. So, I graduated there in 2015. I think and then, I mean, I don't hit the ball rolling from there. That's unbelievable. I was your with obviously, with your first auditions. When you first started kind of going out to the West End. Do you have, did you have to sign up to an agency? That would get you these auditions? Or were you, were you aware of new additions from your from your drama?
So we were lucky enough to have someone on staff at Matthew Rebecca who was kind of our industry liaison. So before you get an agent, she could kind of submit you for jobs in auditions and things like that. So I had a couple through Mountview before I ended up signing with an agent after our showcase.
That's amazing. I have you ever known any? Any estate agents to go on the stage. Well, I'm thinking that perhaps you and I could do a job share when it reopens. Yeah, I'd love that. You get a team over the beauty. And so just to find out, it's really compact. Obviously, as you said getting into the drama school and me is a really competitive industry. And how did you find that?
When you first kind of got into it, it it really is very competitive. And I think that you have to have a lot of self-belief. Actually, I think that's the main thing because there are hundreds more NOS than yet is and you know, it can really get to you. But you just have to kind of believe within yourself that you have got levitates and that you can do this, because if you're not championing championing, the self, then you know, that that's not going to get you anywhere.
Yeah, that's so true. Because I think that that's obviously why you've done so well and why you've appeared in so many. So I've got Montreal, really pleased that they did take you on in the end, this decision. You've made something of it, type it in the news last year. The days, well, thrilled thrilled to bits. I'm sure kid broke up giving you some Limelight as well. I know. Do you know what the saddest thing though actually is at my school kind of doesn't exist anymore.
More actually. So they got taken over by an academy and I've, it's gone through like three different things now, but yeah, I mean, big uptick in Brick and, and all the teachers there. So I won't be doing this without them honest. So nice. And and how did you find some of a sudden a little bit. And with you? I'm just so excited to speak to necklace today. So, little bit jittery with your experience with your experience. So you've done, you've done.
Quite a lot, which is a really, really impressive pipeline. You have starred in quite a lot of the ones that I have seen such as the Book of Mormon, and I'm going to go through each one individually really quickly. So, how was, how did you find the Book of Mormon that playing in The Book of Mormon? The Book of Mormon is quite possibly the most outrageous show in the world. I think the most exciting thing about it about being, it actually is the audience reactions.
Because, you know, a lot of them, don't know what they've come to see. They don't expect it. And so it's just the ride of a lifetime. Every single show was absolutely hilarious. And I think I met some of the most incredible people in the show. Casting team, do a really good job of. Not just casting people that are incredibly talented but also are truly lovely and hilarious. And you just want to spend all your time them. And I think that's really important when you when you walk in.
Job, and you're doing the same thing day in day out, really, but the people around you just make it so, so brilliant. So yeah, I love that job. So very, very much and it was my first, I said, Joe as well amazing. That such a great experience to get started with, that's fantastic. Oh, you've also done one such as Avenue Q and, and the piper and South Pacific, which is such such a good one. I remember watching the TV.
The film when I was younger and South Pacific is just goes back, four years, doesn't it? Really? So but that was, it was as fun as well. I mean, so South Pacific, I did in Guernsey. It was quite obvious that specifically concert and, you know, as an actor, it's really really nice. When someone tells you that they're going to put you on a plane and fly you to somewhere because automatically, it's like always a little bit of a holiday because there must be some damn time. You must find it. And we
Real lucky for that. So we went against Ian, the weather is amazing and they put us up in this Villa and everyone was kind of staying in apartments next to each other and there was a pool. So as well as doing the show, which was great and we had a great time and we got some great reviews and and the company were amazing. It was also a lovely or holiday, you know, mm, er in the Sun and guns are getting in the call. We were watching Love island of an evening. It was really, really nice little trip away.
Such a luxury, such a luxury and Sister Act. I know that Mark, my colleagues actually had tickets for this as well. I think, no. She's seen it already. She saw it with another colleague. So she might have seen you. When were you in Sister Act? So I did Sister Act in this structure was at the in stevenage, Gordon, creating stevenage. And that was in 2015. That was my second job out of college.
Actually, so long ago, but I really enjoy dressing up in a nun's costume. It was great fun. I think the kids that's pretty and tell us a little bit because you've been on TV, I have to mention this because there are obviously a few clips that remember this show as well as adults that still watch. It have to watch it with their kids. Now.
What did you do? Yes, with my first job out of college. I was lucky enough to work with Justin Fletcher, who is mr. Tumble. And we did a live version of mr. Tumble in Manchester and 2015 and then they broadcast it on CBeebies as well, which is, I think is still available on iPlayer. And I think it actually had a rerun literally, about a week ago, because people,
Texting me like, oh my God. I'm watching you, but just the most incredible time in Manchester and incredible cast. Justin Fletcher is the nicest person. I think I've ever met in my life. And yeah, it was just yeah, really, really lovely experience. Actually. I love working in children's TV, and that kind of Realm. It's just a little bit more relaxed and everyone's really happy.
Because I'm a I always used to say to everybody that I wanted to be a children's TV presenter a West End performer securely. Actually, you've lived the trim for me jealous much. I was there when I was I was, I know I've said this already before we came on but I used to get so excited before I went on stage when I did and I just does that still happen for you? Do you still get like really like the jittery feelings just before you go on?
I mean, let me know doing Wicked. It's just a real dream. Come true. I mean, I don't see his show more times than I care to admit in public, but, you know, the Overture starts and unlike my heart, just it's just the most incredible feeling and you hear the audience and they're really excited for it. And you go out on you start seeing, you know, this is my job. And, you know, I think it's really important to just never forget how exciting it all is.
Is I think I mean, I'm quite I'm quite stretchy it anyway, but yeah, it's never lost on me. How very, very lucky. I am to be doing what I do and it's just such a buzz and how you doing at the moment to just bring it back to reality a little bit because some otherwise I'll just keep talking about this forever. But obviously with lockdown it has affected the West End theater a lot and I know that the question on everybody's lips is kind of how you
Guys are doing now and what you're up to? Yeah, so obviously the Society of London theaters closed all of the theatres on March 16th. I think it was something like that. And it was, I mean, it was a really, really sad day. I can't, I can't deny. I think. I think I'd ride. I think there were tears, there was on the train home because I'd actually gone into work. I was at work when the announcement came out so we'll be going home that night.
Is quite sad and what this is probably like the eighth or ninth week or something like that. So I've just tried to kind of get into a little lockdown routine and trying to kind of, you know, structure my life. And actually, it's been quite busy. I feel like I'm busier now, we're not in town, and I was before, before this all happened. I hear that a lot. You know, I think I am as well, but I think you've been singing. Tell us a little bit more about what you've been recording.
Stuff. Yeah, so what's come out of this actually is and I know it's an awful good time, but there are a lot of creative projects happening. So I was on tour with Avenue Q and we put together a quarantine version of one of the songs. I've sent Megan the link. So, she'll put it up somewhere, I think. And I filmed another one, which was kind of a new song written to kind of show our appreciation for the NHS, which I've Just Seen has gone live today.
Yeah, so I've not even had a chance to watch that video yet. But you know, I just lots of little bits and Bobs and you know, Instagram content because you know, you want to keep people excited and you kind of want to keep your own creative flow going as well. Yeah. So true I sent you for the I do concert in my kitchen. When I'm cooking every night. I want the necklace to believe. I'm a West End actor. So I I've built out with the windows open, my partner, Chuck saw all the door.
I love it that. I absolutely love it. So I might send you one of my one of my videos and then we can, we can put them together. Do we must? We must do a duet? I'd love that. Absolutely. I found it. I saw that some people within the industry I saw in the news and they've had to kind of start doing other jobs as well. Just to kind of tie them by I suppose.
So have you found any of your friends doing that as well? Yeah, so there's a, there's a massive Music Theater cohort in Sainsbury's and Sydenham. So, if anyone fancy is getting a little show, I'd suggest going there actually because you can probably get any of them to sing On Cue. And I've got a couple of friends working for Domino's and Pizza, Hut, delivering as, you know, working for Hermes and ups, and stuff like that. So people are really kind of just adding to buckle down and
Find something because we do need to kind of keep money coming in somehow. Yeah, absolutely. I think that it's a really important and it's kind of good that they're giving back in a way because it is a key worker job, isn't it? You're an infant working on. So it's also good that those opportunities have come available for them at this time. So I'm just I am pleased how that's how that has worked out, just so that they can kind of come back with a bang afterwards. How do you feel that it is going to?
Be like when you do get back. It's just kind of going to be like yet. Go on stage. Remember everything. I mean, I can't I keep saying this to my friends. I would love to be a fly on the wall. The day, the day they say this is going to be open and you know, people kind of go back into the little bit of rehearsal period. I'd love to be there and I want the crew to the directives, to just say, okay guys, let's just get on stage and go and see what happens because I think it would be. So,
Funny. I'd love to see because I I, you know, sometimes during practice little bits in my room and, you know, some of its there, but little detailed have gone. And I just think it would be really, really fun to watch. I want to watch those two comes to some of the practices. I think we should sell tickets to them. I think people would enjoy it because social distance in any way to be like a reduced amount of tickets to come and see this one. You're going to Half Price because it's gonna be missed.
Just gonna be the rehearsal one thing actually about prices because I did want to ask a few. People have said this as well because they obviously we don't know yet, but just your thoughts on it. Do you think that it's going to affect Theater prices if there are not going to be as many people allowed in? What are your thoughts on it? So it's really difficult to speculate. But I it's it's difficult because it's I've seen I read an article the other day.
That where someone said that they couldn't afford to Productions on if they aren't selling all of the tickets in in the house, but at the same time because everyone is going through, you know, a really difficult Financial time right now. Putting the prices up isn't really going to entice people to come to the theater, either, you know, because, you know, entertainment is kind of the last thing people spend money on. You know what I mean? They have to spend it on the essentials first and then what's left over, you know, if
We put the prices up. What's left over might not be enough to buy a ticket to the patina of so, I think there's going to have to be a real strategy in place and I don't necessarily think that putting the prices of that is the one the way to go. Yeah. I know that a lot of people me included and especially a couple of my colleagues that I know and one of my best friend's kieron and I know quite a lot of people that will want to kind of support it as much as possible. As soon as there are tickets available again, and there's
This is open and soon as we're able to go and I'm sure that there are many others out there as well. Because it, like I said, at the start, is just such an integral part of Central London. Like, it's just the West End in central London and Broadway in American. It's the two big, big things which you are a part of it amazing, but we want to support it goes. We want to see you on stage again. I know I want to I'm going to wave it. You like Construction.
And see you, but I know that. Yeah, I know that that's going to be so many people. I think I can see that someone is even commented on the chat. Saying the enthusiasm in this chat has made me really excited for when we are able to come and see more shows. So I hope it does that. Do you, when do you that you will be likely to perform after not them?
It's it's no one knows really. I mean, you know, I again I hate to speculate on it because I think you know, there's so much fake news going around and it's really kind of affecting people's mental health in and stuff like that. So it's I don't like to speculate, but I do know that whenever we are allowed to go back, the actors will be ready. And, you know, and we would love it if the audience is come and support us, you know, I think.
One will need a bit of escapism once all of this is over and, you know, once it's safe to be out and about, let's go and visit the local butchers. Let's go and see the green grocer. Let's go and see a show and really try and put some money back into the economy, I guess. Because you know, we're going to need it. Absolutely and and how long so it's just going to hand it back tracking. But how long do you usually do a show for? So obviously you get into the show how long, how long does?
Only last fall for you. So blue on a musical. You normally contracted for a year on like a big long-running show like that. Sometimes if you're doing in in a rep or something, like Chichester or kill of house or something like that, they're on for like three months or something like that, but normally the big stuff, you get a Year's contract. Once you've had more experience. And so, you know, when you've got like this portfolio, you've got the track record. Is it more likely? Or is it just
Down to the individual audition that you do. Do you think this little bug?
I bet those I would say actually yeah. Yeah, definitely.
So when I might have a chance if I use, I think so, I think so. Absolutely. It's never too late. Never too late. I'm sorry. I feel like I'm making this all about me today. Was just it's about him out here and Nicholas. I really, really enjoyed this. I just a really, a really have. I want to share the links where you're singing. And if you also when when it's available,
You can share the NHS one with this as well, because I think that that's really great to see. I think anything to do with kind of business organizations, and the West End helping out and kind of, showing the support of the West End at the moment. So that NHS at the moment, as well as brilliant. So guess, please share that with me. And then I will show my video of singing and you will put it as a link on this chat again.
And then I'll try my best. But yes, II really? I cannot wait to see you on stage again. I know that a lot of people can't wait to see you on stage again, and I'm really excited for everything to get back to normal. However, long that takes. But we will be there on the front row, screaming your name, unfortunately, for you. I can't wait bring banners. I'm very busy.
I will help bring found as an everything. I wasn't even sure whether to dress up like paint paint green on me today and do a little, do a little addition for you, but I decided, no, I know I was told not to and but I'm really glad to see you in High Spirits as well because I think that that's what people kind of need to see that, you know, like that. There's hope there's dreams out there and there's and we are ready to go back and know that everybody is, but just keep rehearsing.
Bills and thanks again. You've really you've really boosted my day as you can probably see, I'm grinning from ear to ear and your Bright Smile as well as just fantastic. So you've brought joy to my day and I hope that you've brought joy to others as well. And have a lovely bank holiday. Oh, my God. Yes, tomorrow, isn't it, right?
A day off from your day off and we won't, we won't be doing a video tomorrow everyone just because I do need a I do need a rest as well, but we will be back next week. But yes, I think that this is really ended my liquid a bang. So thanks again and make sure that everybody watched and just make sure that you support when they go back. It's great to see that. You know, these are the people behind the scenes and these are the people
Entertainers and bring people to London. So let's get that economy back. It's Nicholas. Thank you. I'm sure I'll speak to you soon. Do not become best friends, but you like it. Don't know. Thanks again. I really really appreciated you coming on today, and I've enjoyed listening to your journey. Thanks. Have a great day.
Not going up live. Maybe if we both, we both leave the studio, then it might automatically go.
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