Katherine follows her heart... onto the Chichester Festival Theatre stage!

Katherine Henry imagined she was heading towards a career in architectural engineering. But then she had a big change of heart '“ for the better.

Katherine Henry
Katherine Henry

She is now loving being part of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre in their big Christmas production of Sleeping Beauty (Dec 15-30).

“I did my A levels at Bishop Luffa but I am on a gap year now. I am doing a mix of things including retaking some of the A levels. I am doing maths and physics and Spanish, things which are not really drama related. I was thinking about doing architectural engineering, but then I changed my mind. I was thinking that that would be my safe option, but then I realised that I really ought to pursue my real passion.”

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

She is going to apply to drama school instead. Katherine is applying to do musical theatre at the Guildford School of Acting and at Mountview and possibly a couple of other places. She is also looking at applying to universities to do drama. She will relish the competition: “It is really, really interesting to see how many talented people there are out there.

Katherine Henry

“I have done theatre all my life, but I was apprehensive that it was not the most secure path and that you could find yourself out of a job. There is all the competition and so because I am relatively academic, I thought I would go for a more reliable career, but my parents are happy that I have changed my mind. They can see that I am a lot happier. They would rather see me try to do what I want to do, to try my best and hopefully succeed.”

She would love to work on the stage: “It is just such an amazing feeling. There is a massive difference between doing something like film and TV and working on stage because on stage you get the instant gratification. You know straightaway if you have got something right, and you are bouncing around off the feelings that everyone else is feeling. There is nothing else like it.

“And I love the fact that you can implement change through the theatre. People might listen to the news, but going to the theatre might actually change something. When you are listening to the news, it is just like ‘Oh yes, there is another serious thing going on.’ But when you are in the theatre, you become so involved in what is going on. By the end of the show, you might have fallen in love with some of the characters. And sometimes it is fantastic the way in a theatre you can talk about certain things and the audience doesn’t necessarily know that you are talking about them until the end. Rather than just saying ‘Climate change is bad’ or ‘This is terrible and this is great’, you can lead people in a much more interesting way in the theatre.”

As for Sleeping Beauty, Katherine is loving playing the part of a slave, all part of a very happy experience.