Fraser Callaghan is a popular member of Potters Theatre Company and we caught up with him for a chat about life at Potters, wearing the same shirt as Nigel Pattle in his audition and what time he goes to bed after the show…
Can you tell us about when you first joined Potters Theatre Company?
I joined in 2015 and still remember auditioning in London. I was wearing the same shirt as Nigel Pattle, our former Entertainments Director, and we had a laugh about it! It was an intensive day of song and dance rehearsals and I was so pleased when I heard from my agent that I had got it, and this has been my first professional job. I had never heard of Potters but was absolutely blown away by it when I arrived. I am from the West Midlands and I think we set off driving at about 2.30am to make sure I was here for an 8am start on my first day! I had no idea of the scale of Potters, the facilities and how professional a theatre it has. Zac Patterson introduced himself and was lovely, as was everyone, and I quickly made friends. I feel incredibly lucky to still be here now and am really grateful to Potters for having me all these years.
What has been your favourite Potters Theatre Company show over the years?
Legends was the first show I did and this year Nicky Hathway has done a new version of it, which is going so well. My favourite of all time has to be our new Broadway & Beyond show as I love musicals and everything, from the costumes to the choreography and the mixture of songs in the show, makes it incredible! Singing and dancing at the same time takes years of practice. We also have the best tech and tech team, and the money that has been invested into Atlas Theatre and the screens and lighting systems is just wonderful and as a performer as it is all so professional and such a high standard. I am also in Battle of the Boy Bands and have done Frankie’s Guys too. My favourite time of year at Potters though is at Halloween because the atmosphere is incredible and it is great to dress up. This year we are performing a Halloween show on three family breaks. I also sometimes do late nights in the Terrace Bar and Live Music on the Family Green.
What sort of music do you like?
I love musicals and classics like Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera. I love all sorts of music though like Queen, David Bowie, Elton John and I used to imitate all the Michael Jackson routines when I was younger. I love to do dances, accents and voices. I often do Kermit the Frog!
How well do you all get on?
We are like a family. We spend a lot of time together, we rehearse a lot and live together, and see each other every night, so become friends. Sion Hathway has been so supportive of my Potters journey and almost like a father figure really. His advice and kindness have been really important along the way. I also love speaking to guests and getting their honest feedback on shows. The comedy team are brilliant too and they are such a laugh. Buz is so hard working and such a lovely guy.
Do you get nervous performing live on stage every night?
Not really as I have done it so long now and Potters has really built my confidence. I have never dropped a girl in a lift and it is very rare for anything to go wrong. I do remember one time though when we had a technical issue and the sound went off in the Theatre but we could still hear our ear monitoring sound so didn’t know anything was wrong, until Zac took us off stage! Every night is so different due to the audience and it is really special when we have a live band and hearing them for the first time in a new show is magical.
What time to do you get ready every night?
Well, I have a thing about not being late, so I am always very early to everything! I will get to the theatre an hour before we need to be there to start getting ready. Obviously we don’t need as long as the girls to get ready, but we all do our own pre-sets, putting our costumes and props in the right places before a show. I always go and see the girls in the Pop in Shop before the show and they always buy me a birthday card, which is very sweet.
Did you know you always wanted to perform?
When I was younger I used to dress up a lot and come down the stairs to my mum in a variety of outfits! I think it was when I was about seven or eight that I first knew I wanted to perform and joined my local drama school. I love being at Potters and being on stage every night really is a dream.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I like to keep myself active, so I go to the gym, play basketball, tennis and football with the other boys.
What time do you get to bed after a show?
About 2am, thanks to all the adrenaline and just taking time to wind down after a show.