Can you believe that Sion Hathway has been at Potters for over 30 years? Sion is our incredible male vocal captain who hits the high notes in the Potters Theatre Company shows and we caught up with him to find out about revealing costumes, singing and dancing at the same time and some of his memories from over the years…
How are you?
Really good thanks. Broadway & Beyond is being really well received and they’ve given me quite a bit of dancing. I thought I could get away with just standing and singing, but they have got me moving! We start Christmas preparations too shortly as we go into Christmas Spectacular rehearsals mid-September and we have Halloween too, so it’s a busy few months. I must say what a joy this cast is to work with – they are brilliant and really talented. Christmas will be quite spectacular – I’ve seen the set list and it is great!
What is it like singing and dancing at the same time?
It is fine – I just do it and don’t think about it! I think the most challenging part is singing the vocals while getting changed and those changes are quick! I even change in the LED screen! Everyone works so hard and we also have a lot of fun.
When do you get the song list?
On the first day of term! We have two weeks of vocal rehearsals and then we are into dance rehearsals. It is really exciting when we have a new show and finding out what songs have made the cut and which parts we are singing. I’d love to do something from School of Rock at some point.
Have you ever said no to a song you’ve been asked to sing?
No, I never have as I will sing anything and everything! We’re lucky because the shows are always amazing and Nicky does such a great job producing each new show. She has a hard job as pleasing everyone from aged 2 to 92 is a challenge. I do have some high notes to hit for The Jersey Boys and in Battle of the Boy Bands I have been covering a Hanson song and have to sing like a 12-year-old boy as it is in that style! I love singing Obviously with Fraser – that is a real highlight for me and he plays guitar and we just bounce off each other.
Have you ever wanted to say no to the costumes?
Haha well some of them are revealing and so that’s always interesting but I just think that I will have to work out more for that one! The costumes are wonderful though and Martin does a great job.
You’ve been at Potters for many years and saw Potters Theatre Company become what it is today. Do you remember that time?
Yes and I think I started at Potters when dinosaurs were still walking! I worked with Mark Brewer before they developed Potters Theatre Company in 2003. It was a different time then and exciting but seeing all the changes and the talent they have brought in, the investment they have made and what the shows are like today is incredible. The loveliest part is hearing a roar from the crowd at the end of the show and having standing ovations – sometimes they do that mid-way through the show!
How is Leanne Mitchell to work with?
She is just brilliant really – her talent and vocal arranging is just mind-blowing. She knows me so well and I help organise people for her as much as possible and mic them up. I will help with sound and tell tech who is on each night in my role of vocal captain. I also make sure everyone is ok and comfortable with their vocals and just offer advice and support.
How proud do you feel working for Potters as we get ready to celebrate our 100th year?
Well that is amazing and it is Norfolk’s best kept secret and people don’t know what they have here on their back doorstep. I started in the restaurant when I was 17 and worked there for seven years, and had the pleasure of serving the Potter family. Potters is such a special place and I feel very lucky they gave me this opportunity.
Can you tell us something interesting about Potters Theatre Company?
I always say that it is like watching a swan on a lake – graceful on top and then underneath you don’t see all the hard work it takes to keep it going. We have a lot of very talented people here.
How are the comedy team to work with?
A nightmare but in a funny way. They are a challenge but very funny and we have a laugh. In one of the songs they just have a hoover and duster to do two moves with and it has only been performed right twice in six months! James was going through some words with me and it was only a couple of words and he was saying them right but then wrote them on his hand wrong.
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. 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.