The latest in our series of Meet the Team article sees us sitting down for a chat with Alex Skarratt, who has provided loads of amazing voices in our productions, from small girls, to aliens and old washer-women, there's nothing that Alex can't do.
Alex is also a Lecturer of Performing Arts, so the level of professional quality she brings to our plays is beyond anything we could hope for. We asked Alex some questions about herself and her work, so that you can get to know her a bit better and find out what makes her tick. Enjoy.
Q. What made you fall in love with theatre, and musical theatre in particular?
A. When I was younger my mum used to pay me to iron. I loved doing the ironing because it meant that I got to listen to Les Miserables on vinyl whilst I was working. I was always amazed at how moved and engaged I became whilst listening to the story. I could pretty much sing every song, and I knew all the harmonies to every part. I didn't get the pleasure of actually seeing Les Mis until I was in my late teens, and I was amazed by it. How emotionally involved I became with what was happening on stage. This is when my love for musical theatre began, I am now in love with so many different shows for so many reasons.
Q. What were your favourite shows growing up?
A. Without a doubt Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. They were the backing track to my childhood (along with Take That of course!)
Q. How many plays have you been in over the years, and which of them stand out in your memory?
A. I've been in all sorts of different things, mainly whilst I was studying. My favourite piece whilst I was at uni was a devised performance that I created on returning from Poland after taking part in a 3 month placement. It was a contemporary piece that explored experimental theatre focusing on our experiences in Poland. My favourite musical theatre piece is probably Guys and Dolls. I played Sergeant Sarah - the lead role. It was so much fun performing in a real theatre to a full house. I am now working towards performing Grease with my students at Harrogate College in preparation for their final project which will take place in May.
Q. What other musical things have you done besides theatre?
A. Whilst I was studying at college I was a member of a three piece band. We made a small living out of it and played gigs all over North Yorkshire both as a three piece and as a full band. I have also done some session singing working with a guy who was writing demo songs for up and coming female artists.
Q. Do you have a favourite song from a musical?
A. That is a tough one! But Gethsemane is pretty awesome from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Q. What are the best things about teaching young people drama?
A. I think for me one of the best things is seeing them grow in ability and confidence. Seeing them get passionate about things and develop their own ideas, and seeing them find inspiration. I think above all though the best thing is to know that you have inspired someone, and that you personally have had the opportunity to positively influence someones life for the better and knowing that they are going to go on to succeed.
Q. What advice would you give someone who is thinking of auditioning for their first school play?
A. Believe in yourself, be confident in your own ability and do your best. Being involved in performing arts is just such good fun. Performing in front of an audience is pretty awesome too!
Thanks so much to Alex for taking time to chat with us, and you can listen to her performances on songs like How Do We Save Our Worlds and Power To The People in Planet Power, and Missing Things and The Warning in Things That Go Bump.