Amy catches up with Katie Elin-Salt who is currently starring as Peggy Starr in Are You As Nervous As I Am? A new British musical on now at Greenwich Theatre!
Hi Katie, how are you feeling ahead of opening night?
Hugely excited, can’t wait, thrilled to be here … and yes, I am as nervous as you are!
What attracted you to this production/role?
This script landed in my lap in between lockdowns. Like many creatives navigating the pandemic, I had reassessed a lot of things professionally and actually taken a detour from my acting routes. I had been really enjoying nurturing my writing career and studying for my Masters in Music Therapy (which I still am!) However, when I picked up this script – I had one of those rare moments as an actor where I just knew this was a role I had to play and I was determined from the first read to make it hapen. It is so rare to be presented with such a gift of a character with huge emotional depth, a lifetimes journey and life altering lessons along the way that reflected rather spookily with my own personal journey at the time. Peggy is a character that arrives demanding to be heard and loved – I heard the call loud and clear, and I hope you will too !
Can you give us a brief synopsis of Are You As Nervous As I Am?
Are you as Nervous as I am telling the story of Peggy Starr and those who come and go in and out of her life over the course of 40 years. We follow her humble beginnings as a young woman growing up in a pub with a Mother who does not make life easy for her or her sister Janie. When Janie runs away to London, Peggy is left alone with her Mother’s decline into despair – and eventually runs away to London to try and find the only other family she knew, her sister. Whilst there, she finds herself
How does it feel to be in a brand-new production, what attracted you to working on something new?
I feel hugely excited to be making my debut in a brand new musical – it feels like such an exciting challenge and something totally different for me, my first ever musical (since school!) – Making new work and especially a new musical is a huge undertaking at any point, and I am inspired and hugely proud of a production that has stood strong and grown through all the challenges theatre has had thrown at it over the last few years! I am honoured to be a part of its grand opening.
What are the main themes of the show?
Family connections and bonds (both positive and negative), the search for love (of oneself and of others) and the journey to find your own voice and live life on your own terms.
What can people expect from the show?
People can expect a full on celebration of musical theatre magic – high drama, high stakes – songs that will make you laugh, cry and feel. A relatable and important story brought to life by an amazing creative team and a brilliant cast and crew who are passionate about the story they are telling.
What is your favourite song in the show?
I love them all – but I have a special place in my heart for Peggy’s final song “face to face with me” – it is a song she sings at the end of her journey, when she realises the most important love she will ever find is the love for herself. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a song in a musical quite like it, and it is a song I think everyone can relate to. I first read Shaun Mackenna’s beautiful lyrics and knew how special it was, and when I heard Leighton’s composition I cried like a baby – it’s still very hard to hold it together now !
Are You As Nervous As I Am? Is on at Greenwich Theatre until the 23rd of October.
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