Tom Holt is one of the many talented young performers who will be treading the boards this time around for Mad Hatter’s latest musical production. That’s the Madness musical Our House, which runs at the Headgate Theatre from June 27 to 30 at 7.45pm with a Saturday Matinée at 2.30pm. Featuring a collection of Madness hits including Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love and, of course, Our House, the show does contain mild strong language and adult themes. Tickets are priced £12, £10 for concessions available from the box office on 01206 366000.

What or who got you interested theatre? Did you take part in any productions at school?

I first became interested in theatre when I was in Year 9. My sister was doing a Year 13 production of Sweeney Todd and they needed someone to play a little boy and I did it. I was only on stage for two minutes but I loved the atmosphere and the feeling of being on stage. I then went on to study musical theatre for my GCSE’s and the main musicals we did were Bugsy Malone and Fame.

Are or were any members of your immediate family involved in the theatre?

My sister studied drama at university and is now teaching drama at our old high school.

Who is the most inspiring person you’ve worked with and why?

I once had a masterclass with a man named Andrew Keates. He explained to us about his whole situation and how he uses it to fuel his love for the arts. He is HIV+ and told a compelling story explaining his emotions when he first found out. He then taught us the song ‘welcome to the world’ from ‘A Man of No Importance’ and told us to forget the characters background and to channel our own history and experiences into the song. It can range from excitement to being terrified of something, it was really interesting to see how different people interpret it and I still use that method today.

What formal training have you done?

I was a student of West End Masterclass for three terms in 2015/2016. This was a three hour masterclass every Sunday with industry professionals.

I am currently a student at Colchester Institute (UCC) and have just finished my second year of study, I move on to my third and final year in October.

Do you have any specialist skills – anything from stilt walking to dress-making – which you work into your repertoire?

I don’t really have much in terms of specialist skills, but I am learning Italian, so I guess I could work that into my repertoire eventually!

Which experience/role do you regard as the highlight of your career to date?

There has been so many highs, but walking out to the bows in my first ever am dram production of Les Mis has to be up there! But also playing the Historian, Not dead Fred, The Minstrel and Prince Herbert in The Lowestoft Players’ Spamalot was probably my favourite show.

Gazette: Tom Holt

What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?

When I did Styles and Drew’s Peter Pan I was playing Peter and my best friend was playing Hook. During the last sword fight on the last night, I hit his sword and my sword broke in two. I had to sing without bursting into laughter and continue the fight with half a sword. I still have that sword on my wall at home.

What role would you most like to play and why?

That is such a difficult question, there are so many roles. But if I had to pick one it would most likely be Phantom, obvious ,I know, but Phantom has always been one of my top shows and I would just LOVE to sing the last number.

Ever corpsed on stage? What happened?

I think the worst I corpsed on stage was during a production of Back To The 80s. My friend said his line too early and just kept repeating it over and over and I absolutely lost it, luckily my back was to the audience but you could see me shaking like mad.

Any big plans for the future?

I plan to continue into a further year of study, be it a masters or a one year course I don’t mind. I’d like to maybe study a year in Rome which would be amazing. After that I want to just go into the world of theatre and try my best. And also set up a theatre company of my own.

Any tricks for remembering your lines or other useful tips to pass on to other actors/directors?

I find uniting very helpful, just reading one unit over and over until you get it and then move on. So basically just try to learn sections at a time. I’m quite lucky in that it doesn’t take me too long to learn my lines because I can just remember where the words are on the page or what I was doing when we blocked it. Also if you have a lot to learn it can get boring so I find reading the lines out loud in different accents and voices helps keep it fun! It sounds very weird but it takes the burden out of it.