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May 2002
Graduate blows into town
Katie Rowley Jones

Katie is thrilled to be making her professional stage debut in Whistle Down the Wind

The last time Katie Rowley Jones was in Nottingham she was studying law at the University of Nottingham.

She now finds herself in one of the lead roles in Whistle Down the Wind at the Theatre Royal.

Acting is something that Katie has always been passionate about.

She was heavily involved in amateur dramatics during her three years at university.

She says it was this that kept the idea going in her mind that acting would be her preferred career path.

Katie is making her professional stage debut in the musical Whistle Down the Wind:

Interview with Katie Rowley Jones:
Did you expect to be working in the theatre given that you spent three years studying law at university?
No. I've had a bit of a convoluted journey to where I am now. Like you say, I studied law here in Nottingham and graduated in 2000. Taking this career path was something that was always in the back of my mind.

Doing law for three years was enough. It's not what I'm really passionate about. It took me that process to realise what I wanted to do.
What have you been doing since you graduated?
I did a postgraduate in musical theatre in Guildford and that only finished last June so I've been incredibly fortunate.

The audition for this came up last July and we started in August.
When were you here last?
The last time I was in Nottingham was actually when I graduated. I never ever in my wildest dreams would have thought that the next time I'd be in Nottingham would be in a musical at the Theatre Royal.
Did you get involved in the amateur dramatics at the University of Nottingham?
I did. That's really what kept the idea going in my head that I wanted to do it professionally. There's a great theatre society at the university that I was heavily involved with. We did a number of musicals. Things like Cabaret.
Did you see the film before the audition?
No. We started the UK tour in August. I only saw it in March. It was a conscious decision not to see the film. I really wanted to concentrate on the musical version and on what Bill Kenwright, the director, wanted me to do with it. He was really giving me all the information I needed. I wanted to focus on what we were doing.
In the play you're in the Deep South. How did you learn the drawl?
We had a few voice lessons at drama school and you try and learn how to break down any accent into a skill, breaking down the different sounds. Then we had a voice coach during rehearsals which was a great help. I now dread the day I have to sing in an English accent as the American accent is so ingrained. I don't think I'll be able to do it any more.
Do you have any plans after Whistle Down the Wind?
I'm contracted until August. There are lots of things that I'd love to do in the future but really I don't want to set my sights on things. I love singing and I love musicals such as Mamma Mia and Les Miserables. The big shows in the West End are really what I would aspire to be in but I don't want to limit myself to just musicals. I'd really like to turn my hand to straight dramas and TV, so who knows.
Have you had a chance to look up any old haunts, places and faces since returning to Nottingham?
I have. There are still quite a few of my friends here. There are quite a few medics whose courses are just too long. Alot are actually doctors, which is very bizarre. But actually, so much of Nottingham has changed, even in two years. However, it's nice to find my way around again.

Read more about Katie Rowley Jones in our review of Whistle Down the Wind >>

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