From Red Riding Hood to vamp

Katy Moore as Velma Kelly in KickstArt’s Chicago, also starring Jessica Sole as Roxy Hart.

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BILLY SUTER chats to award-winning actress KATY MOORE, who is playing Velma Kelly in the new KickstArt production of the sexy Kander and Ebb musical Chicago, which runs from today (April 8) until April 30 at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.
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HOW EXCITED ARE YOU ABOUT PLAYING VELMA KELLY, A ROLE FILLED BY CATHERINE ZETA-JONES IN THE FILM VERSION OF THIS MUSICAL?

It is my dream role. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to perform this iconic role.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO PEOPLE TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO SEE THIS SHOW, DIRECTED BY STEVEN STEAD AND DESIGNED BY GREG KING?

It’s a truly delicious feast for the senses.  We have amazing actors and a fantastic, on-stage, nine-piece band.

HOW MUCH DOES YOUR VELMA PERHAPS BORROW FROM THE CHARACTER IN THE FILM OR OTHER STAGE VERSIONS?

I used Chita Rivera and Bebe Neuwirth as inspiration. True talent and beauty.

STEVEN STEAD SAID HE WANTED TO RETURN TO THE VAUDEVILLE-LIKE APPROACH OF THE ORIGINAL ’70s MUSICAL STAGING.  WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THIS?

I think it’s a fantastic vision. Steven knows exactly what makes a great show!

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND MOST CHALLENGING AND/OR REWARDING ABOUT THE ROLE?

There is a lot of choreography (by Janine Bennewith) in the show, but it has been great to sink my teeth into it.

WHAT SORT OF SURPRISES,  IF ANY, CAN ONE ANTICIPATE WITH THIS SHOW?

Chicago has so many surprises. It’s a rollercoaster!

ANY ANECDOTES FROM REHEARSALS?

We all laugh a lot when someone falls.

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR TWO MOST REWARDING STAGE ROLES TO DATE?

Velma Kelly is definitely No 1. Second is a tie between playing Little Red Riding Hood in KickstArt’s Into the Woods and Amelia in Othello.

HOW MANY AWARDS HAVE YOU WON TO DATE – AND OF WHICH ARE YOU MOST PROUD?

Just one – for Into the Woods. It really was a terrific production directed by the fabulous Steven.

WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN – AND WHAT MARKED YOUR FIRST TIME EVER ON A STAGE?

I’m from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK.  My first role was as an elf… I had been gunning for the part of the snow queen.

TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR SHOWBIZ CAREER ABROAD?

I toured the UK for many years.  I performed in The Adventures of the Stoneheads with the Trestle Theatre Company at the National Theatre In London.  I also worked on various soapies in the UK.

WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Sociable. Friendly. Perfectionist. Self-critical. Patient (with my daughter, hopefully).

WHAT ARE FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF (HOWEVER TRIVIAL) THAT PEOPLE ARE UNLIKELY TO KNOW?

I am a qualified swim coach. I have an amazing little girl. My favourite food is lasagne. My friends are my family. I don’t like fish.

YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT ON STAGE?

It was in Cinderella at the Playhouse.  At one point I had to sit on my partner’s knee… and I fell flat on the floor.

THE MOST FAMOUS PERSON YOU HAVE MET?

Jim Broadbrent congratulated me on my performance at the National Theatre . I was extremely happy. I also met Queen Elizabeth when I was two… don’t be jealous!

HOBBIES, PASTIMES AND FAVOURITE THINGS?

I am a new convert to yoga – and, often, my daughter and I do yoga outside. Generally, I stretch and she climbs all over me! I also love going to the movies.

WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS AND PHOBIAS?

My fears generally revolve around my child not having what she needs or not being happy.  I’ve been through quite a lot in my lifetime, so I don’t really have phobias. Oh, apart from running out of wine… that’s a constant nightmare!

WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN COOK?

Spag bol, chicken casserole and chocolate crispies  (melted chocolate with cornflakes) … don’t steal my recipes!

IF YOU COULD CHANGE THREE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

My rubbish technological abilities, my hair (I would like Shelley McLean’s hair) and my horrid baking skills

WHAT IS THE WORST TROUBLE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN IN?

I got caught stealing and almost served a prison sentence (I thought). I was seven!

WHAT ALTERNATIVE CAREER PATHS MIGHT YOU HAVE CONSIDERED ?

Well, I thought I might work in a bank – then realised I am not brilliant with numbers. I think I just wanted to wear the uniform.

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? AND CRY? AND GET ANGRY?

I laugh when anyone falls over. I cry when my friends are in pain. I get angry when people don’t care – we have a responsibility as adults to care

WHAT IS THE MOST PAINFUL THING YOU HAVE ENDURED?

Wisdom teeth removal. Wow! There were never enough painkillers!


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