The European Premiere of the off-Broadway musical hit Pete ‘n’ Keely comes to Tristan Bates Theatre – a string of hits, a cast of two, ‘Forever Plaid’ meets ‘I Do, I Do’. Katie Kerr and David Bardsley lead this award-winning musical, and we caught up with them to get a flavour of what we can expect.

The European premiere of Pete n Keely is coming to The Tristan Bates Theatre, what can you tell us about the show?

Katie: A time capsule back to an amazing fun packed joyous night in the theatre! And there are some cracking numbers!

David: As you say, it’s the European premiere of a play which, I hear, is done a lot around America. There’s more than one way to answer this question, but if you ask me, it’s about marriage. Or, if you like, relationships. The ups, the downs: the way in which time breeds both resentment yet mutual dependence. And, set in the world of showbiz, it’s also about ambition, success, disappointment, being famous, being no-one, etc. And it’s about not giving up; on life or each other. With songs.

It’s only the two of you on stage, how do you give each other morale support?

Katie: Laughter and teamwork!

David: We don’t. We hate each other. That and humour.

You have to play a couple that haven’t spoken for five years, and don’t really get along – how do you get yourself in that frame of mind before the show?

Katie: Well we are still in the rehearsal process at the moment. Once we have played with ideas I will have a greater idea. We are still finding our characters and discovering new ideas.

David: We are only a week into rehearsals. But my plan is to pretend that the five-minute call is five years and spend that time not speaking to Katy. As for not getting along? If we no longer hate each other by the time we open, my plan is to pretend we still do.

It’s set in America in 1968, did you have to do much research on the time and year?

Katie: No,i just asked my mum! I joke ……But I already am a great fan of the era.

David: Frankly, I’m old enough to remember. Not 1968, specifically, but that era. It bled into the seventies, which I do remember. And I’ve spent a fair amount of time on those greatest of actor-research platforms – YouTube and Google.

What kind of music can people expect when they come to see Pete ‘n’ Keely.

Katie: 50s and 60s fun filled themes

David: “Pastiche” would be the buzz word. Broadway, Jazz, Easy Listening, Standards, etc.

What’s your favourite song in the show?

Katie: I think I would say Black Coffee!  It’s a big jazz number and I love what Matthew our director has up his sleeve for it!

David: I haven’t decided yet.

Pete ‘n’ Keely is at The Tristan Bates Theatre Tuesday 2nd – Saturday 20th May 2017



Greg is an award-winning writer with a huge passion for theatre. He has appeared on stage, as well as having directed several plays in his native Scotland. Greg is the founder and editor of Theatre Weekly


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