Katie Tonkinson joined Potters Theatre Company in 2018 and we caught up with her for a quick chat to find out what it is like to be part of the cast. Katie is also part of Girl Power and she reveals how many layers of clothes she has to wear on some numbers, how her confidence has been boosted and advice for anyone who wants to be part of the Company…
How did you get to be part of Potters Theatre Company?
I had heard about Potters through friends and family, and everyone had said good things. When I moved to London I saw this came up and I had such a great day at the West End auditions. When I got a phone call to say I got a place I cried and was so happy to be part of it!
When I arrived on day one we had a tour around and when I saw the Potters Theatre Company show in the evening I was just blown away. We had already spent two weeks in London learning and rehearsing and I was just so excited to be on the stage.
How did you get into performing?
When I was three I was with my mum and I saw some ballet dancers rehearsing through a window and I told my mum that was what I wanted to do. My mum was a singer and dancer, my grandma was a dancer and my dad is in this industry too. When I was seven I started a musical theatre summer school and I later did a musical theatre degree. I have been on cruise ships around Asia, been in pantos, done session singing and teach too.
What has been your favourite show so far to perform?
Broadway & Beyond as we get to act and become a character. It means you have to understand the context of the song and think about what singing and perform it. I love musicals anyway.
I also love being part of Girl Power and being on stage with the girls, including Roxy, who performs an opening number with us and a few other bits too.
What have you learnt from your time in the Company?
It has really boosted my confidence and I have loved just being myself on stage and performing a song, rather than always being on character. It has showed me different strengths in my voice too as I’ve had to adapt to many styles. It is a great place to learn.
What do you do when you’re not rehearsing or on stage?
Sitting in the sun, cleaning, going for a coffee and just hanging out with the rest of the Company. That’s been the best part too as we all get on so well.
Do you love dressing-up each evening?
Yes I love that part and all the costumes, although a lot of costume changes are tight! We have so many costumes and quickly become the next character. You might see me waddling on stage in one of the numbers but it is because I have so many layers on, a massive coat, scarfs and more! In fact in one of the numbers one of the layers of my skirts started coming down the other night and I just had to try and hold it in place in a subtle way! Wigs often get caught in mics too!
What would people be surprised to know about the Company?
Just how much washing there is and how many costumes and props we have. I often help with this too as I like sewing and organising stuff. There is a lot things to wash!
What do you do to protect your voice?
I have a nebuliser, which is a bit like a steamer, and I try not to talk too much in the day. We do warm-ups and cool downs, and I have lots of green or herbal teas.
What would you say to anyone who wants to be part of Potters Theatre Company?
Get some training as this is such a high standard at Potters. You will learn so much here though, the team you work with is incredible and you learn from the very best. Go for it!