One of the area’s most prolific and in demand directors, Kerry King, is back at the Headgate for Platform Plays and Musicals. This time she’s getting to grips with the classic Lerner and Loewe musical, My Fair Lady, made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the smash hit film version. It runs at the Headgate Theatre, Chapel Street North, Colchester, from Wednesday until Sunday, July 18 to 22, at 7.45pm with matinees at 2.30pm on the Saturday and Sunday. For tickets, and returns, call 01206 366000.

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

Always being a bit of a show-off and bossy boots I organised end of year ‘shows’ at school when I was 12. Then appeared in village hall pantomimes which at one point reflected how desperate they were as they gave me the part of Cinderella and having larger size feet it meant that the slipper fitted one of the Ugly sisters.

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

Dad could play the piano and accordion and Mum could sing but they wouldn’t go near a stage!

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

I worked with a professional clown who taught me that ‘small’ (gestures, movement, looks) has great power.

What formal training have you done?

I studied for an MA in Contemporary Theatre working with various professional directors and professional artistes.

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

I have several skills such as dressmaking; piano playing; counselling; riding a motor bike, draping the stage with material, being a good organiser and being a fun Nan but if I said I was a specialist in anything I would be telling fibs.

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

Directing is my first love as it can be compared to painting a picture. You have the vision and the secret is bringing it to life.

So it would be directorial highlights and sorry but I have more than one. Five Kinds of Silence. Alone It Stands, Neville’s Island and co-directing the film Witchfinder General, which was an enormous and successful venture and one that I am very proud of.

Another highlight was that a pantomime I had written was translated into Welsh and performed in Wales.

My highlight at the moment is working with Andrew Hodgson’s company, Platform Musicals and MD, Neil Somerville, directing My Fair Lady with a great cast.

What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?

Knowing my lines back to front but my mind going blank - not hearing the prompt and my family being there as a surprise.

What role would you most like to play and why?

Someone really wicked like Cruella Deville. Wicked parts are always so much fun.

Ever corpsed on stage? What happened?

Only during dress rehearsal for Quasimodo’ when for some reason the line ‘I thought the hump was on the other side’ sent us into hysterics.

Any big plans for the future?

To do the impossible - direct ‘Les Miserables!’

Meanwhile, I am directing a Commemoration show for the 100 years end of the Great War for the Headgate Theatre, and The Matchgirls for the Manifest Theatre, about the Bryant and May girls who went on strike for better conditions in 1888 which is rather relevant this year as it is marking the 100 years Suffragette movement.

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

When learning lines - read the whole script and make sure you know the context of the scene and listen to what is being discussed rather than waiting for your cue line (which may not come!)

As a director you also need to be a psychologist to make sure that everyone is comfortable and happy in what they are being asked to do. Be open to suggestions that come your way as more than one brain will often offer something that you hadn’t thought of.