Sion Hathway, Potters Theatre Company's incredible male vocal captain, wows the crowds with every performance and is inundated with requests to sing his rendition of Nessun Dorma, but has never had a singing lesson in his life!
We caught up with Sion to find out more about how he ‘accidently’ got into singing, 31 years of Potters memories, and how it feels to work on Christmas Day…
When did you first join Potters?
I started in the restaurant when I was 17 and worked there for seven years. I even had the pleasure of serving the Potter family. I fell into singing, and got my lucky break, as a couple of us decided to record some songs for a laugh that we could play in years to come to our grandchildren, and the entertainments director heard it and the rest is history! I was in choirs as a child, but never saw it as a career option, so I have a qualification in marine telecommunications engineering! Luckily I haven’t had to fall back on this and have made a career from singing, having worked with Potters for 31 years, with a few sabbaticals along the way to travel the world.
Can you tell us about some of your favourite Potters memories?
I used to do the late night entertainment after the show and hold the record for the longest solo late night performance! It was in the former Bamboo Bar and I started at midnight, and finished around 5am. I should have finished at 2.30am, but it was still seven deep at the bar and everyone was having such a good time, so I started the set again. I couldn’t speak the next day! I also remember how Brian and Judy wished me luck when I took my first sabbatical, and said that they would see me back at the Resort in January. A few days after I returned I performed at the World Indoor Bowls Final singing Nessun Dorma. Brian gave me a standing ovation, and I remember turning to look at him and saying that it’s good to be home. On a personal level, it is singing Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire on stage with my daughters in a past Christmas Spectacular. I am really proud of them both and their talent, and got really choked up, as they were showing pictures of us together in the background. I’ve also been dressed-up as a banana, a scarecrow, a pumpkin and a Christmas pudding over the years!
Talking of Christmas, you work every Christmas. How is that?
I love Christmas and so do my girls, and I get to spend most of Christmas Day with them before going on stage. I have only had one Christmas Day off in 27 years, but Potters never closes, so we are on stage all-year round and get to make guests Christmas Day extra special. We start rehearsals for the show in September and this year it would be great if they included Saviours Day, as it’s my favourite Christmas song, but it hasn’t made the final song list yet. Maybe this will be the year! As a cast, we all get on together really well, although I’m older than them all! My claim to fame is that I taught Kerry Ellis to drive, and it is a real treat whenever I get to perform on stage with Leanne Mitchell.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Well I’m always rehearsing, even when I’m at home! I love any style of music, especially rock and Queen, but also Justin Timberlake and Hans Zimmer. I’ll put Radio 2 on, and my girls will always switch it over to something cooler! I think I’ve got a voice that can adapt to most styles, from rock to pop, and opera, and I have sung in Italian and French too. I also go to the gym a lot and am constantly redecorating my house, while singing, of course!