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THE SWELL

ORANGE TREE THEATRE

OFF WEST-END AWARDS FOR BEST PRODUCTION (NOMINATION)

GUARDIAN READERS’ FAVOURITE STAGE SHOWS OF 2023

OLIVIER AWARDS 2024 Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre (NOMINATION) 

"Nicola T Chang’s use of sound throughout is subtle but vital to the play’s success; the use of breath to create tension matches the breaths that we did not realise we were holding."
★★★★★ Lost in Theatreland

 

"A tantalising vocal score (sound design by the prolific Nicola T. Chang) characterised by rich, haunting harmonies that, well, swell, conjuring the gently acknowledged ocean-side location of the play’s world. The score is not just melodic though. A sigh or gasp on stage is sometimes echoed by the other hidden voices, creating an unsettling surround-sound effect. You’ll find yourself glancing over your shoulder to see where it came from, and wondering how it sounded like it was right in your ear."
★★★★ Evening Standard

 

"[The] swift transitions [are] set to really beautiful Imogen Heap-esque choral creations by Nicola T Chang."
★★★★ The Stage

"Great credit too, to composer Nicola T. Chang for a quite extraordinary, beautiful, haunting sound design incorporating taped music with live harmonies from the cast. A weird, otherworldly sound that gives context to the strangeness of the story."
★★★★ The Reviews Hub

"Ghostly live music composed by Nicola T Chang links scenes"
★★★★ The Guardian

 

"[A] soothing musical sound enhanced the onstage performance and moved the action along in a rather ethereal way"
★★★★ Mark Aspen

"A thoroughly convincing cast perform in an ambience greatly enhanced by composer Nicola T Chang’s music."

★★★★ The Arts Desk​

"The piece is accompanied by a beautiful vocal score. Again, lively at the beginning, accompanying a fun night out scene, but increasingly more haunting. Characters offstage echo the action on stage with gasps or repeated words and the music becomes more and more melancholy... wonderful performances and an enchanting vocal score, creating a wonderful exploration of the human condition of love."
★★★★ All That Dazzles

"Composer and co-musical director Nicola T. Chang has created, with Sinéad Rodger, a singular score of songs and motifs that haunt the edges and skies of this work. Joyous dance and recorded voices of the actors themselves (their stage selves echoing on occasion) underscore optimism, envisioning a utopia where women will legally marry."
Fringe Review

 

“Lighting and sound [are] extraordinarily well integrated  […] to an extent not always apparent in many productions. Chang, in particular, works wonders with an eerie and evocative soundscape some of which is hauntingly contributed to by the cast.”

2ndfrombottom

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"Scenes chop in and out of the past and the present with Nicola T Chang’s specially composed music in between."
TheatreVibe

THE REAL AND IMAGINED HISTORY OF THE ELEPHANT MAN

NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE/ROYAL THEATRICAL SUPPORT TRUST SIR PETER HALL DIRECTING AWARD 2023

GUARDIAN READERS’ FAVOURITE STAGE SHOWS OF 2023

"A balladeer replete with rock guitar lends narration and evocatively produces the sound of a rampaging elephant, dark blues chords and a menacing rhythmic accompaniment. The soundtrack and Nicola T Chang’s score work exceptionally well."
★★★★★ Theatre&Tonic

"The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man is one of the best, perhaps the best, staging of any play I have seen in 2023... The half-dozen strong cast is excellent in every possible respect, as indeed is Nicola T. Chang’s sensitive, well-conceived musical score"

★★★★★ Behind the Arras

“Director Stephen Bailey has assembled a brilliant team to realise a stylish, atmospheric and fully accessible production. Nicola T Chang’s moody rock score […] amps up the drama.”
The Stage

"The doom laden score was like a creeping menace slithering around the foot of your seats. It almost reminded me of sections from the score of "Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds" where you can actually feel unease through the music."
Kev Castle Theatre Reviews

MINORITY REPORT

NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE/BIRMINGHAM REP/LYRIC HAMMERSMITH

"Combined with Nicola T Chang’s evocative score, Director Max Webster and his creative team adeptly transform the source material for the stage and convey a vision of the not-too-distant future.'
★★★★★ Theatre&Tonic

Nicola T. Chang’s score is excellent at defining the more dramatic moments of action."
West End Best Friend on Minority Report

GARRICK THEATRE & APOLLO THEATRE (WEST END)/ROYAL COURT/NEW DIORAMA THEATRE

OLIVIER AWARDS FOR BEST NEW PLAY (NOMINEE)

“Sound is another important factor in For Black Boys… with an inspired use of music interspersing the action. [As] a play where sound and music are a key part, sound designer and composer Nicola T. Chang brings these together remarkably, with sound also working well with the movement to bring characters back into reality.”

★★★★★ All That Dazzles

“Almost like a seventh character, the significance of music in this choreopoem, really deserves a separate review”

★★★★★ Afridiziak News

“Flawless soundtrack.”

★★★★★ The Spy in the Stalls

“Nicola T. Chang’s sound design and music is woven into the show well”

★★★★½ Mark Aspen

NEST

LEEDS 2023/NYT

“The performance is creatively, musically and soundly immersive.”

★★★★ Fairy Powered Productions on NEST (Leeds 2023)

"[...] accompanied by music composed by Nicola T. Chang, it really is a visually stunning show."
★★★★ The Reviews Hub on NEST (Leeds 2023)

ORANGE TREE THEATRE / JMK AWARD 2019

OFF WEST-END AWARDS FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN (NOMINATION)

"Nicola Chang’s sound design is reminiscent of the works of Edgar Wright, including one specific Scott Pilgrim-esque moment. It’s startling just how assured it is – unforgivingly funny, rapidly paced and minutely observed."

★★★★ The Upcoming

"Nicola Chang's sound design [...] compliments the ebb and flow of the production, with an inventive soundtrack of loud music and subtle sound effects."

★★★★ Broadway World

“Nicola Chang’s choice sound effects are a delight – little pings, zings, and boings, all bouncing off various actions like comic book onomatopoeia. It’s all gorgeously playful, refreshingly ready to entertain.”

Exeunt Magazine

FINBOROUGH THEATRE

OFF WEST-END AWARDS FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN (NOMINATION)

"Cleverly-worked, grating jazz-based sound design from Nicola Chang."

★★★★★ ActDrop

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"The ultimate elevation of the show comes in the shape of sound designer Nicola Chang, who sets the second act to a jazz tune."

★★★★ Broadway World

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"... the almost visionary second half comprises a series of duets for voice and jazz combo. The sax in sound designer Nicola Chang’s unsettling jazz track rises to hysterical crescendos, conjuring Kitty fighting her corner."

★★★★ The Jewish Renaissance

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"...the second act propels Finishing the Picture into another league. Essentially a series of monologues with each character attempting to converse with Kitty, a pulsating cymbal jazz beat from sound designer Nicola Chang brings with it a sense of urgency, the occasional trumpet howl substituting for cries of despair from the unseen Kitty."

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

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"Her responses are conveyed through the anarchic riffs of an expressive sax behind which a hectic snare skits to hepped-up time. Its effect is unsettling and submerges the audience in the frantic rhythms of Kitty’s own mental whir – something words alone can’t quite convey."

★★★★ The Arts Desk

"Sound (is) used exceptionally well during the second act. Throughout the delivery of the monologues, a high tempo, almost manic, jazz piece plays, conveying a sense of urgency."

★★★★ The Spy in the Stalls

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"A skilful use of music and sound."

★★★★ The Express 

"(The) production becomes more interesting in the second act, in which the red walls take on the mood of a madhouse and Nicola Chang’s discordant sound design speaks on Kitty’s behalf in response to her colleagues’ attempts to reason with her."

The Stage

LEEDS PLAYHOUSE

"Nicola T Chang’s sound design is particularly notable in the opening moments, underscoring a war zone with a blend of pounding contemporary and Elizabethan music."
Always Time for Theatre

 

"From the opening pre-show soundscape and first glimpse of the striking open set on the large Quarry stage, there’s a powerful sense of grandeur and spectacle, with Nicola T Chang’s filmic electronica sound design underscoring the action energetically."
British Theatre Guide

CHESTER STORYHOUSE

"accompanied by an evocative soundtrack by Nicola Chang, time seems almost suspended. It’s a tremendous production, balancing beauty and brutality, and bringing fresh poignancy to Strindberg’s masterpiece."

★★★★★ The Stage

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