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Welcome to the official website for
Nicola Burnett Smith

I am a Scottish-born actress raised in Canada & Scotland, now based in London & Edinburgh. You will find here a complete Résumé of my Stage & Screen work along with complete information & production stills, a Gallery of portrait photos (including a set by New York fashion photographer Stephen Anderson), full details of my Music and regularly updated News. Get some background by reading my Biography or read on below for my personal stats & contact information. Please enjoy your visit.

News

Here you will find up to the minute, regularly updated news
of what I have been doing, what I am doing, and what I will be doing.

See my Photo Gallery page for my latest updated headshots.


2013

CLICK HERE for a recording of me performing (vocals and bass clarinet) as part of the Plural Muses concert series
in a new piece by Domonic De Grande (piano) called 'Oblique' at St Michael's Church Camden in August 2012.
You will also find an extract of me on Bb clarinet in a piece by Paul Hepden, 'I'd Rather Walk'. I will add more clips here as time goes by.

CLICK HERE I am singing a beautiful song from Macedonia, 'Mori Sokol Pie',
at the Union Chapel 17th November 2012 with Gundula Gruen and the gypsy band Tatcho Drom.


2012

DecemberA Little Orchestra’s Christmas Concert goes with a bang as usual. I sing Simon Shannon’s beautiful song ‘Sob O Ceu’ and we play our unique arrangement of ‘Love Song’ by The Damned.

November – Composer Dominic de Grande invites me to take part in recording the soundtrack for a new film by Samuel Fouracre, ‘Health’. I perform with Gundula Gruen of Tatcho Drom on vocals at the Union Chapel in Islington at a concert of Balkan music.

October – ‘Quintet for Biscuit’ is performed at St Bart’s Church in Smithfields as part of the ‘SQ+’ series. Working with the Bergersen Quartet I sing the mezzo voice in Anna Braithwaite’s adventurous new piece which also calls upon my acting and instrumental skills. I also have an enjoyable recording session with singer-songwriter Darren Hayman on his new pieces ‘The Archduke Learns to Ski’ and ‘Seraing Lokamotiv’ in which I play bass/Bb clarinet in ensemble with Alex Billig on bassoon and Catherine Carr on flute.

September – Composer Anna Braithwaite asks me to be the mezzo in her new piece ‘Quintet for Biscuit’ in October. I play clarinets at the album launch of Banana and Louie’s new release ‘Alphabet Soup’.

August
– At the Plural Muses events in August I performed Bb clarinet in a piece by Paul Hepden, ‘I’d Rather Walk’ and in Tom Kilworth’s ‘Tea Suite’, bass clarinet and vocals with composer Dominic de Grande on the piano in his extraordinary song ‘Oblique’, as well as singing as part of an acappella ensemble arrangement of Gemma Storr’s ‘Safe’ and as the mezzo in Anna Braithwaite’s complex piece ‘Super Obsessive’. I was also delighted to be asked to take a part in a rehearsed reading of Yasmin Wilde’s wonderful new musical ‘Office Tramp’ in the role of Miss Randall.

June
- More music! I have back been in the studio doing more recording on Bass Clarinet for Davy Berryman’s Sea Stacks album and also recording Bb and Bass Clarinet for A Little Orchestra's debut album. This will feature work by Bobby Barry, Darren Hayman, Shirley Lee of Spearmint, Andy of Pocketbooks and Apple Eyes.

February - I have just been to Sweden where I sang with blues and gospel singer Sheila Collier at a sell-out gig at the Charles Dickens in Helsingborg.

January - The year begins well with a busy gig at the Buffalo Bar in Islington with A Little Orchestra. I sing two songs and play bass clarinet in our own main set and then we accompany various other guest artists throughout the evening ... I’ve started working at putting together a jazz/blues set with saxophonist Mark Davison. We are in the process of deciding on material and recruiting the rest of the band. Watch this space! ... I play bass clarinet on a video/recording of Davy Berryman’s beautiful piece ‘Sea Stacks’ – I hope to be able to see an edited version of the session soon and will add a link here ... Early in January ALO provided the orchestrations for the new album from ‘A Fine Day for Sailing’ and we’ve been busy working with them in the studio.


2011

December - A Little Orchestra’s Christmas gig in Kilburn. We perform a new piece I wrote for the orchestra based on a Robert Frost poem. I’ve since found out that I won’t be able to get copyright to perform it. Don’t tell anyone but I didn’t find this out until I’d already sung it at three gigs ... My company Xperient produces a film. Partnering with our colleagues at Walking Forward Media, we have produced an set of training modules for one of our clients, featuring actors Peter Winnall and Heather Coombs. Using the skills of our French and German team, we have also provided subtitles in both those languages and will soon be adding Dutch and Portuguese.

November - A Little Orchestra plays with MJ Hibbett’s Acoustic Night ... The Stoke Newington Kazoo Orchestra is born. Hits include ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ with a bass clarinet duet featuring Chris Harris and ‘Ring of Fire’ featuring Katrina Smith ... My first gig takes place with the Mind’s Ear Project at City University ... Jack Klaff invites me to create and perform an interactive installation for the Intelligence Squared (IQ2) Conference, ‘Home of the Future’ at the Royal Geographical Society. For various reasons, I have less than 24 hours notice of this but manage to pull something out of the bag to great acclaim. Phew.

October - We’ll Take Manhattan: my company Xperient continues to grow – I’ve now recruited a team of talented actor/roleplayers in New York. It was an interesting task, holding interviews/auditions in Manhattan.  Getting the shortlist together involved networking in a totally different context for a change. In the meantime my business partner Ian has formed a similar team of multi-lingual actors based in Paris and Germany. We launched the NYC team this October and have a very happy client and a great bunch of new associates - and friends - in Manhattan.  We incorporated the Paris team into our schedule at the beginning of the year ... And - A Little Orchestra plays in Brighton, this time I appear as a singer as well as instrumentalist, showcasing my version of ‘Ghosts’, originally a hit for the group Japan in 1982 ... I am asked to join the Mind’s Ear Project as vocalist and clarinetist. www.mindsearproject.com

September - A Little Orchestra plays with Haiku Salut.

August - sees me singing at Whigham’s Wine Bar Edinburgh – appearing with my sister Katrina – playing with a combination of vocals, kazoos and, if you’re really lucky, ukelele and swanee whistle.

July - I play bass clarinet with A Little Orchestra in the Crypt at Shoreditch in a fund-raising gig for the Duke of Uke. At the end of July we appear at the Indietracks festival in Derbyshire.

June - I have a new showreel! It has been up-dated with all my more recent film and TV appearances and was edited by the excellent Brad Shaw of www.showreelz.com ... and A Little Orchestra plays at the Brixton Jamm with guest appearance by Shirley Lee of Spearmint.

May
- 14th May 2011 at 7.15pm: I have been invited to work as bass clarinettist with members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra as part of the Peter Eotvos project at the Barbican. Working in a collaboratively and improvisatory way with composer Duncan Chapman and nine other musicians, we will devise short duets which will then be recorded and remixed by a group of music students and also performed live in the foyers of the Barbican with a live-electronic mix. Visit the BBC website here

April/May
- I have had some new headshots taken by photographer Cordelia Donohoe. If you’d like to see more of her work, have a look at lifelikepictures.co.uk. I’m working on Bass/Bb clarinet duets with Swedish clarinettist Lars Karlsson for an event in May.

March
- A Little Orchestra goes from strength to strength. We’ve been working with composer Simon Shannon on his challenging new compositions, one of which, ‘Yiddish Melody’, we’ve just played at Read and Shout, a library benefit gig in South London. To follow ALO gigs, including our forthcoming appearance at the Edd Billig Memorial, at Indietracks Festival in Derbyshire in July and at How Does It Feel to be Loved in June and July, see alittleorchestra.wordpress.com. You can also watch a recording of our performance with Darren Hayman on his track ‘Out of my League’.  Darren has since asked us to play with him on his next album.

February
- My communication skills consultancy xperient.co.uk continues to receive nationwide bookings for the acclaimed ‘Professionalism’ Workshop I designed last year, a full-day event featuring dramatic and comic scenes and challenging improvisational games. I perform various roles and act as presenter and facilitator together with business partner Ian Sanders and multi-talented actor Louise Yates.  

January
- I performed on bass clarinet and vocals at a gig celebrating the life of my friend the talented Scottish musician and artist Paul Ballingall who died too young last year. The event took place in Edinburgh at ‘Out Of The Blue’ in Leith and featured various musicians who had worked with Paul over the years, including my sister Katrina Smith with whom he had a duo, ‘Uz Chickens’. As well as being a talented guitarist, singer and arranger and co-founder of the now legendary Bongo Club, Paul was a prolific artist. The venue was dressed with a selection of paintings and lino-cut prints from his home and studio.


2010


 

December - A Little Orchestra - performing at the Kilburn Luminaire with The Loves at their Christmas Party. Christmas songs, plus weird and wonderful selections from our extraordinary repertoire. I'll be on bass clarinet and maybe vocals too. Also performing "In C" by Terry Riley at the George Tavern, Shadwell - I will be on bass clarinet.

November - London Gypsy Orchestra - Bass clarinet -  a full evening gig at the Tabernacle Notting Hill. The spectacular London Gypsy Orchestra performs original arrangements of traditional music from the Balkans, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and beyond. Founded in 2005 by virtuoso violinist Gundula Gruen, who conducts as well as performs, it is the biggest ensemble of its kind in Western Europe. At The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London, W11 2AY. Va Por Cuba - Guest artist on vocals - a concert at Bolivar Hall featuring Classical Music and Poetry from the Americas and Cuba. 'll be singing three modern pieces- an epic song in Portuguese by Simon Shannon and two classic jazz numbers, one from Brasil and one from North America. London Gypsy Orchestra and Tatcho Drom - in Gunnersbury - Bass clarinet/Bb Clarinet/vocals - probably being filmed for Serbian TV.

July-August: I am collaborating with old friend and colleague Jack Klaff on his one-man show for the Edinburgh Festival, Jack The Knife. (See picture top left) Working hand-in-hand with Colin Watkeys, we are both trying to keep Jack's imagination in check as he devises and develops his material for one of his most challenging performances ever. There will be a further opportunity to see the show at The Drill Hall in London later in the year - details to follow.

I’ve joined the London Gypsy Orchestra on Bass Clarinet. And in April, orchestra leader Gundula Gruen invited me to play with her five-piece gypsy band Tatcho Drom on Bb clarinet and vocals. (Click on picture, bottom left) So far gigs have included the Serbian Embassy, Battersea Square, Ocean in Hackney, Ritzy Cinema Upstairs in Brixton and Quecumba in Battersea. There are more photos on my Music page. I’m still playing bass clarinet with Monster Bobby’s Little Orchestra – we have recently performed at Brixton Jamm and at a punk wedding, with unique arrangements by Chris Guy of songs by The Damn’d. There are appearances coming up at The Hangover Lounge and at the Lexington. As a vocalist and soloist, I have in the pipeline several musical cabaret projects with Chris Guy, so watch this space!

This year I passed Grade 7 clarinet exam with merit and furthered my studies in music theory and Bass and Bb clarinet with Ross Hughes, Theatre MD and musician with The London Snorkelling Team.

2009

Voice-over
I’ve been asked to narrate a film about the Galapagos Islands, to be shown at the UNESCO conference. As a result I’ll be travelling to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador. Another notable voice-over job for a charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, they want me to be the voice of two promotional films. Visit www.lucyfaithfull.org or view their film page here
Clarinet

I’m playing in the City Wind Orchestra on Bb clarinet in their Winter Concert, repertoire including Shostakovich and Prokofiev. I’ve also joined Monster Bobby’s Little Orchestra with my bass clarinet, working on contemporary compositions.
Xperient LLP
The communication skills partnership I set up with colleague Ian Sanders in 2007, is going from strength to strength. We’ve launched our new website with excellent photographs by Cordelia Donohoe - visit www.xperient.co.uk. And I continue as a Chair and Committee member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Dental Council, adjudicating on cases of alleged misconduct by Dental Professionals.


2008

Voice Demo
I have recorded a professionally-produced demo with the help of writer-director Jonathan Keeble. It includes various radio and TV commercial voiceovers, nature programme/corporate commentary and a dramatic extract. In standard and ‘street’ Scots, RP and Irish accents. Visit Voice123.com to listen.

Justice
A short film by Oliver Williams of Attain Media: I play the role of Senior Intelligence Officer Christine Williams.
Clarinet 
After all my years as an actor-musician, for the past year I have taken up serious study of the clarinet again with tutor Robbie Martin, undoing years of bad habits, working my way up through the theory examinations and taking part in competitions and festivals. I am currently revisiting Grade 6 theory and have a shiny cup on the mantelpiece from the Hatfield Music Festival Advanced Adult Class!
General Dental Council  
I have been appointed as a Chair of the General Dental Council’s Fitness to Practice Panel, of which I have been a Lay Member for five years, representing the public interest in cases of alleged professional misconduct.


2007

Xperient LLP
I have set up my own communication skills consultancy with colleague Ian Sanders. We already have four clients: two law firms, a major insurance provider and a public body. Visit xperient.co.uk for more details.

A Day Within - a film by Letitia and Venetia Kidza.
The film was made to raise awareness of Jewish Care, a charity dealing with mental health issues. I play the role of Louisa, the imaginary muse of one of the residents. A copy of the film is available.
Red Hood – a short film by Navin Dev
Psychological thriller in which I play ‘Red’, Little Red Riding Hood when she has grown up and had a daughter of her own.
More info here
Magistrate’s Training Video - So You Need a Warrant?
For Mike Fowler of Axiom Video. I play a Magistrate who is awakened late at night by a policeman.
Stills Photo Shoot for photographer Ian Robson
The photos were used extensively on the website of a healthcare charity. I play the concerned mother of a young woman.


2006

Emmerdale ITV
Dr Pam Bradshaw returns to Emmerdale’s local hospital for two more storylines involving the cast in dramatic house explosions and domestic accidents. Directed by Haldane Duncan and Duncan Foster.
Radio Café BBC Radio Scotland
I was asked to appear as a guest on the programme to discuss my work as a voice artist and was then invited to return to discuss the new book ‘The Human Voice’ with the author, Anne Karpf.
Presenting videos for www.cognac.co.uk
For Cognac I am the presenter of various information videos for their new website. Despite filming in an unheated garage in Letchworth with snow dripping down the walls and an off-centre autocue, I manage to look quite warm and not too squint-eyed.
Corporate
As an Associate of Impromptu Interactive Consultancy, www.impromptu.co.uk, I have been working as a communication skills consultant, facilitator and role-player in the public and private sector. Most recently I have been developing scenarios for senior management coaching skills training at AstraZeneca in Brussels, facilitating at Barclays Wealth in the City of London, performing at a leadership conference for Vodafone in Dublin and playing the role of a Chair of a Strategic Health Authority for the NHS Appointments Commission in Leeds.


2005

Filming 2005: The Best Man - ITV (Touchpaper TV) - Screening on ITV1 March 2006
A two-part thriller written by Russell Lewis, Alex Pillai, with Toby Stephens, Keeley Hawes and Richard Coyle. I am playing the role of the Manageress of the Honeymoon Hotel where the three protagonists meet and unravel a mystery from their past. Filming in May/June on location on the banks of Loch Fyne.

Silent Witness IX - 'The Meaning of Death'  - BBC.
Written by Rhidian Brook and directed by Bryn Higgins. I am playing the role of the Oncologist caring for Tom Wimber. Filming March 2005 - Transmission date tbc

2004

Quest - the Legend of the Green Knight in The Big Top on Clapham Common
Written by Carolyn Spedden and directed by Charlotte Conquest. Apart from playing the roles of Guinevere and Nineve, I am singing three solo songs written for the show by the songwriter of the Medieval Babes. Featuring trick horse-riding, jousting, sword fights and acrobatics, the show is suitable for all ages.

The Vagina Monologues - ‘Because he liked to look at it’
On 6th March, a charity performance for Pucker Up Productions at the Cottier Theatre in Glasgow as part of International VDAY ('Till the Violence Stops), in aid of Glasgow North West Women's Centre. Cast includes Nicola Wheeler & Vari Sylvester ... Nicola Burnett Smith, a Scottish theatre performer of rare skill who we see shamefully little of in our own country Steve Cramer in The List

2003

 

Cinderella at The Brunton Theatre Musselburgh

Christmas
2003 I was working in Scotland, appearing as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at The Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh. The show is written and directed by Stuart Thomas with whom I worked in December of  2002 at the Citizen’s Theatre Glasgow, in his acclaimed new play, Damn’d Jacobite Bitches. I last appeared at The Brunton in February 2002 as Titania & Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for director Mark Thompson.

Romeo and Juliet at the English Theatre of Vienna
I have just returned from Austria where I was playing Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (September & October 2003). Directed by Andrew Hall, the production celebrated the 40th anniversary of the theatre, marked by a special Gala Reception with the British Ambassador at the British Embassy in Vienna.
'Colonel' Anne Mackintosh in Damn'd Jacobite BItches at Glasgow Citizen's Theatre
The romantic mythology that surrounds Bonnie Prince Charlie has concealed the influence of the forgotten Jacobite wom
en of  the Rebellion. This is their story. Written by Stuart Thomas and directed by Mary McCluskey.
Nicola Burnett Smith is particularly good as the engagingly rude Ann Mackintosh who spars splendidly with Anne Marie Timoney’s Jenny Cameron
The Guardian
Nicola Burnett Smith gives a splendid account of the plain-speaking Ann Mackintosh … a fascinating and hugely entertaining sho
w Mail on Sunday

 

Morag in Perfect - BBC Television
A short film written by Jonathan Goodfellow and directed by Anya Camilleri,
with Stephen Moyer as the homicidal estate agent. Produced by the Glasgow Comedy Unit - soon showing on BBC TV. The cast also includes Roy Sampson, Yvonne O’Brien, Ford Kiernan, and Mark Cox. Watch this space for a transmission date. Shown at Film Festivals throughout Europe


2002

Who Killed Simone Valentine? - Granada Television - a Drama Documentary about a teenager, Simone Valentine, who is considered to be ‘at risk’, and her alleged neglect by Manchester Social Services. I play the school psychologist who assesses Simone. Legal problems meant that the transmission of the programme was suspended until finally being broadcast in August 2002.


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Last update December 2012. Web site design & construction by Tim Frances : web site | e-mail