Nick Powell (musician/composer)

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Nick Powell is a British musician, composer and sound designer. He has worked extensively in theatre on productions in the West End and on Broadway, and for companies including the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre of Scotland, the Royal Court Theatre, and the Donmar Warehouse.[1]

Theatre career[edit]

In 1993 Powell founded the theatre company Suspect Culture alongside director Graham Eatough and playwright David Greig; composing music for fourteen of their productions.[2]

In 2017 Powell was the composer and sound designer on The Ferryman, written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Sam Mendes, it opened at the Royal Court Theatre, followed by a West End run at the Gielgud Theatre.[3]

Powell was sound designer of the Royal Shakespeare Company adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies; adapted by Mike Poulten and directed by Jeremy Herrin. The productions were part of the 2013-14 RSC season,[4] followed by a West End run at the Aldwych Theatre. In 2015 The double-bill was re-titled Wolf Hall, Parts 1 and 2 for a Broadway run at the Winter Garden Theatre.[5] Powell worked again with Jeremy Herrin on the UK premiere of The Nether by Jennifer Haley, a co-production between the Royal Court and Headlong. Following its run at the Royal Court in 2014, the production had a West End run at the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2015.[6]

Powell composed the music for the National Theatre's critically acclaimed[7] production of Othello, directed by Nicholas Hytner. He was also the composer and sound designer for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Dunsinane, directed by Roxana Silbert.

In 2010, Powell co-wrote Get Santa! alongside writer/director Anthony Neilson; the play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre. Powell continued his collaboration with Nielson on Alice in Wonderland at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Unreachable at the Royal Court Theatre.

In 2017, he composed the music for 59 Productions adaptation of City of Glass by Paul Auster, adapted for the stage by Duncan Macmillan and directed by Leo Warner at Home Manchester and the Lyric Hammersmith.[8]

In 2010 Powell won the Spanish Premios Max Award for Best Composition in Scenic Arts for his work with Andrés Lima and Animalario on the show Urtain.[9]

In 2015 Powell created the music for Lanark: A Life in Three Acts at the Edinburgh International Festival collaborating with, amongst others, Alex Lee, Nick McCarthy, Ted Milton, Sarah Willson, Chin Keeler and Lucy Wilkins.[10]

Film and TV work[edit]

Powell has written extensively for the screen including the BAFTA winning documentary Death in Gaza.[11] He was also the co-composer for the BBC series Lip Service[11] and he scored the Spanish feature films Dispongo de Barcos and Gente En Sitios for writer/director Juan Cavestany. In addition, he has scored three of the films of visual artist Phil Collins, including co-writing music for Socialism Today with Lætitia Sadier.[12]

Music career[edit]

Powell has toured and recorded with many bands including McAlmont & Butler, Strangelove and Astrid. He is one half of OSKAR, who have performed live scores for three PRADA fashion shows in Milan, exhibited installations at the V&A and the CCA Glasgow as well as producing two albums Air Conditioning and LP:2.

Further work[edit]

In 2016 Powell was commissioned by The City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Repertory Theatre to create Cold Calling: The Arctic Project; in which a 20 piece orchestra joined actors performing against a backdrop of Arctic landscapes.[13]

Powell scored ‘Creation’ a stop-motion gallery installation as part of an ongoing project with visual artist Jessica Albarn in 2016.[14]

Powell composed the music for the 59 Production’s Bloom, a multimedia installation in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square to mark the opening of the 70th Edinburgh International Festival.[15] In October 2017 Powell joins Alex Lee in composing music for 59's Reflections; an animation projected in the Guggenhaim Museum, Bilbao.


  1. ^ "AHA – Nick Powell".
  2. ^ "Who's Who".
  3. ^ Productions, Sonia Friedman. "The Ferryman". The Ferryman. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  4. ^ "Full casting announced for RSC's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies". Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  5. ^ "Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2 Broadway @ Winter Garden Theatre - Tickets and Discounts | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  6. ^ "The Nether Play: Duke of York's Theatre London". Nether. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  7. ^ Charles Spencer (24 April 2013). "Othello, National Theatre, review".
  8. ^ Hickling, Alfred (2017-03-28). "Paul Auster on City of Glass on stage: 'This goes beyond the realms of my imagination'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  9. ^, Introarte S.L. -. "Introarte -".
  10. ^ "Lanark: A Life in Three Acts".
  11. ^ a b "Nick Powell". IMDb.
  12. ^ Stuart Jeffries. "Fastest! Tallest! Marxist! The visual art of Phil Collins". the Guardian.
  13. ^ "Cold Calling: The Arctic Project - Birmingham Contemporary Music Group". Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  14. ^ Barkham, Patrick (2016-09-06). "Plantlife: Jessica Albarn's meadow art". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  15. ^ "Edinburgh's festivals celebrate 70 years". BBC News. 2017-08-04. Retrieved 2017-09-18.