Harriette Mullen touring with stars of Strictly

8 September, 2016

Last week saw the return of everyone’s favourite celebrity ballroom dancing contest, Strictly Come Dancing.

The 2016 series has crash-landed onto our screens with an all-star cast, but it’s the spectacular West End theatre adaptation ‘Keep Dancing’ that we’re most excited about here at BIMM. Why? Well, aside from seeing Team GB’s Louis Smith in action, ‘Keep Dancing’ (the Strictly tour) features one of our very own stars, former BIMM Brighton student Harriette Mullen!

The super-talented BIMM Brighton alumna has landed an incredible role as one of the show’s lead vocalists. She’ll be joined by a whole host of stars, including 2015 winners Aliona Vilani and Jay McGuinness, on a tour of some of the UK’s most iconic theatre venues, including the Manchester Palace Theatre and York Opera House.

Harriette left BIMM last year with a BA (Hons) degree in Vocals & Professional Musicianship. She has since gone on to achieve fantastic success as a vocalist and has even signed with the musical theatre department of one of the UK’s best talent agencies, Top Talent Agency – a move which she hopes will lead to more work on the West End, as she tells BIMM:

“When the tour has ended, I would love more than anything to continue to pursue my career on the stage. Performing in the West End would be the absolute dream!”

Harriette is no stranger to the stage, either. The singer attended Theatre Studio School at the revered Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre from the age of 13. It was here that her passion for the theatre really began! Her love for singing and performing continued to grow, earning her a place at BIMM Brighton, where she honed her skills and perfected her vocal talents:

“I’d heard about BIMM through successful musicians and was attracted by the versatility of the vocals course, which sounded perfect for me, as it allowed me the freedom to develop my own style and individuality while learning a whole host of other vocal styles. The course also included songwriting and live performance workshops, which I felt would challenge me. And finally, the fact that each term, BIMM held regular auditions and live showcases with A&R scouts in famous venues across Brighton was a very exciting prospect!”

Harriette spoke at length about how studying BIMM challenged her as both a singer and performer, while also giving her an insight into the industry, as she explained:

“Importantly, though, it clued me up on the music business from an insider’s point of view, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of inside information. Unlike other colleges, the lecturers at BIMM are all industry pros, so their advice is second to none. The vocal department is so rich in experience and ranges from musical theatre actresses to phenomenal vocal top line writers; lyrical singer-songwriters to super successful blues singers – there is so much diversity and so many influential lecturers to learn from.”

So, what’s been the best thing about studying at BIMM?

“The buzz of Brighton, the buzz of BIMM Brighton, the constant opportunities to perform, the creativity of so many talented musicians in one place is so exciting and inspiring,”

We totally agree with her there; Brighton is one cool city! Harriette’s hard work has clearly paid off, so what advice would she give to other students currently studying at BIMM?

“Be busy at the end of term – there’s nothing better than getting on the end of term gig more than once! Work hard, be creative, find your own sound, network with your peers, love what you do and always learn your LPW lyrics! But above all… Be proactive! I can’t tell you how many things I wouldn’t have got if I hadn’t gone that extra mile.”

‘Keep Dancing’ opens at the Milton Keynes Theatre on September 6, with further dates in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham and more. You’ll find more information about the show, here.

We’d like to wish Harriette the best of luck. As they say in theatre, break a leg!

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British and Irish Modern Music Institute