'I couldn't wait to come here'

'I couldn't wait to  come here'

The charm, be it with her voice or demeanour, that Katie McHardy bestows on stage is something the audience will write home about.

The singer from the UK, who is a part of the Toccata Musical Productions, had been lighting up the stage for a couple of days now. For Katie though, the visit to Bangalore was not a culture shock. The elements of surprise were only incidental. 

“I always had a open mind. I knew India would be different but I couldn’t wait to come here,” she says excitement writ largely on her face. Born in London, Katie had her training at Julie Sianne Theatre Arts in Byfleet. Her natural talent led her to win a scholarship to the Arts Educational School London.  

Clearly, for the tall artiste, it was music all the way even as she was growing up. “My interest in music began when I was really small. The first thing I remember was listening to my mom’s collection — quite a random listening. She had songs of Kate Bush (English singer-songwriter) and I used to listen to that a lot. I also have an older brother and I used to listen to ‘Broken Wall’ from his collection,” she recollects.

However, the interest for musicals came much later. “I started listening to all kinds of musicals including that of Andrew Lloyd Webber. My musical tastes changed and I started listening more and more to soul, jazz and blues,” she says.

   Katie’s repertoire is quite fascinating. She was an ensemble singer in ‘Good Thing Going: Simply Sondheim’ and in ‘Barbara Cook and Friends’.

The dancer in her shone at ‘WhatsonStage Year on Year Awards 2008’. She was also an ensemble singer and dancer in ‘A Spoonful of Stiles and Drewe’.  
The shows in Bangalore, she admits, have left her a bit tired, however, there is much for her to look forward to. “We are going to a jungle, I heard, near Mysore. And I’m pretty excited about it. We haven’t had much of a chance to see the place. But yes, traffic is everywhere,” she laughs.

While she take pretty good care of her voice, she has not restricted herself from enjoying the cuisine here. “The food is great. I love saag paneer, in fact all kinds of paneer curries. Food is a bit spicy for me, so I try to avoid anything with whole chillies. I start crying if the food is spicy,” she says.

Performing at Chowdiah Memorial Hall has been one-of-a-kind event for her. The vibes here and back home were visibly different. “It was an amazing audience but very different. They were so vocal — that kind of feedback you don’t get anywhere else. It has been an overwhelming experience,” she smiles.   

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