Matt Wycliffe is an actor and musician. He has starred in three West End shows and is now recording his first album! Matt recently took time out to chat about his career and the crowdfunding for his new album.
Can you tell us about being a part of Jersey Boys?
Being involved in one of my favorite shows in the world was exciting enough, but playing Bob Gaudio is definitely one of the highlights of my career.
Its one of those dream parts that every guy wants to play – great dialogue, some fantastic songs, and plus you get to lose your virginity every night! Haha! I’ll never forget meeting Bob Gaudio in New York, him shaking my hand and saying ‘… are you me?’ and then later meeting Frankie Valli at the show. Wonderful, genuine people who are so down to earth considering what they’ve achieved. Being part of the Jersey Boys family is something I’m incredibly proud of.
Did you have a favourite moment in the show?
Oh man, lots of favourite moments. When I did the show it was at the Prince Edward Theatre, and during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame section at the end of the show, I stood on a platform with Ryan Molloy, Jon Boydon and Eugene McCoy and we rose up through the floor singing! That was always my favorite moment. It’s such a monumental part of their story and I got a rush EVERY night as the audience suddenly came into view. So cool.
How about a favourite song from Jersey Boys?
Again, so many! Singing December ’63 (Oh What a Night) was amazing. I love the very start of the show too when the famous riff comes in and there’s this HUGE drum hit. Got me going every night! Another of my favorites is Fallen Angel- it comes in at a heartbreaking moment in the show and it’s a beautiful song.
You left Jersey Boys to join the cast of The Commitments as Outspan Foster. Can you tell us about your time in the show?
It was my first time being part of an original company and working with Jamie Lloyd was a real learning experience for me. He has a keen mind and a clear vision of what he wants. The musical team was just brilliant too – Alan Williams and Alan Berry taught me a lot. Plus we had the original writer Roddie Doyle in all our rehearsals which was incredible! Having him there in person to answer our questions was a dream for any actor.
I was one of the few English people in the cast (nearly everyone was Irish and native to Dublin) so there was a lot of pressure to get the accent right! I made some lifelong friends in that show. Mark Dugdale (we were best mates Derek and Outspan) is now in Jersey Boys funnily enough!
You are about to be Carl Perkins in the tour of Million Dollar Quartet. Tell us how you got to be in the show and how the music fits into your own personal likes.
When the West End production was cast I was unavailable at the time but when the auditions came round again I jumped at the chance to do it!
I’ve always loved that defining era of rock ‘n’ roll. It just gets me excited, there’s such energy there – especially the early stuff born out of rebellion. My parents brought my brother and I up on a rich musical diet so I know most songs from that time like the back of my hand! I cut my teeth playing Buddy Holly in the West End and it’s still my favourite music to play live.
You are crowdfunding for your first album on Indiegogo – can you tell us about this and what the process is?
Yes! I am! It’s really exciting! I’ve made a video explaining it all!
Indiegogo is like Kickstarter – a crowdfunding platform. It’s a website that allows you to offer ‘perks’ in return for an investment into a project. For instance, anyone can put money towards my album for as little as £5 but £15 will get you a digital copy of the album, £20 will get you a full CD copy, £100 will get you VIP tickets to the big gig I’m planning (with special guests) plus the album CD, a bonus EP, a MW T-shirt, a photo and a guitar pick!
There are loads of other cool rewards for supporting me- tickets to MDQ, backstage tours, an electric guitar, music lessons, and there is even a perk where I’ll come to your house and do a gig in your living room! (I’ve done this before and it’s great fun) I might also cook you dinner or host a picnic in the park!
I’m also doing a small set and q&a at the TheatreCafe on the 13th August around lunchtime.
I’ve wanted to make an album for years and now’s the perfect time to do it! It’ going to feature some of my favourite songs from shows I’ve been in plus others which I love singing and playing. Although I’m more well known for being a guitarist, I’m actually more of a piano player. I’m planning on playing as many instruments on the album as I can myself – harmonica, bass, drums, piano, plus all the singing… It’s quite a lot to do but it will be worth it 🙂 I’m also giving away some FREE tracks on my website during the course of the campaign! www.mattwycliffe.com check it out!
Book tickets for Million Dollar Quartet at the Royal Festival Hall
from Saturday 17th December 2016 to Monday 2nd January 2017
Book tickets for Million Dollar Quartet
King’s Theatre Glasgow
Monday 14th to Saturday 19th November 2016
Monday 28th November to Saturday 3rd December 2016
Monday 6th to Saturday 11th February 2017
Monday 13th to Saturday 18th February 2017
New Victoria Theatre, Woking
28th March to Saturday 1st April 2017
Theatre Royal Brighton
Monday 10th to Saturday 15th April 2017