Saturday, 7 August 2021

COMING HOME: Harriet Watson, currently in the UK tour of SIX the Musical

Pocket Size Theatre and Liza Heinrichs (Captured by Liz) have teamed up again and created our new series 'Coming Home'. In this new piece, we look at the reopening of Theatres in London and around the country and celebrate our industry coming back. We got together some performers who will be some of the first to return to theatres and created this piece to bring some positivity to the theatre industry which has been through one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Whilst it is important to acknowledge the hardships we've all gone through, it's important we pull together as a community and celebrate our beloved industry finally coming back! 

One of the biggest hits of musical theatre of recent years has been the phenomenal SIX. Starting as a smaller fringe show with a limited West End run, it's grown into a multi-production phenomenon around the world. The show has just recently announced its new permanent West End home at the Vaudeville Theatre after its run at the Lyric Theatre. The first touring production of the show opened in September 2019 but was shut down in March 2020 due to the pandemic, the show resumed performances with a few casting changes in June 2021 in Canterbury. 

Harriet Watson, an alternate in the company, has been with the UK touring production since the beginning. She is an alternate for Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr but also knows and has performed the majority of the other Queens tracks as she covers them too. As well as this, she is also the dance captain on the production. 

Having been with this show since mid-2019, it's been quite a journey for Harriet and her cast mates. When we spoke to her about the return of the show, she opened up to us about how incredible that first night was and the joy she felt for her cast mates, “the atmosphere was incredible. I have never felt so many nerves and energy in a room. I was so proud of my girls” 

Speaking to Harriet about whats she has missed most about being on stage, her answer is the audience. In a show that is very much about the audience interaction, we can totally see why that's the thing missing, “The feeling when you have won an audience over is like nothing else. I get so much joy from watching the grumpy dad on the front row turn into a fan by the end of the show and seeing him dance around with his daughter. It is pure joy watching people enjoy themselves.” 

Harriet tells us that over the pandemic she believes she has grown a lot as a person and has gained a lot of perspectives, “We have all gone through so much and it has made me realise what I need from people and my job. Life is so precious and this pandemic has put a lot into perspective for me.” This swiftly moved onto the adjustments and shifts that have been made and discussed within our industry and Harriet points out the importance of representation in the arts, "I think the industry has become so much more diverse and we are starting to see incredible stories and castings that wouldn’t have happened before.” 

During the pandemic, Harriet and ex-Six queen Lauren Byrne set up IN-3 Arts, a training system providing part-time classes for actors and performers. Talking to her about this company, it's so clear it helped her through and also was a gift to anyone who took part. "We have made connections with so many incredible actors and given some amazing opportunities to aid them in their training. It was a focus we both definitely needed and found so much joy in doing.” 

Talking further about the movements within our own industry over the pandemic, Harriet tells us that the social media awakening actually helped her with a personal issue she has experienced, making her feel like she wasn’t alone and was able to speak out about it. “I have been too scared to speak up about personal issues that have happened to me. Quite a few people spoke out about an issue I was confronted with and it taught me I wasn’t alone and that people are recognising it and knowing it is not ok.” 

Harriet has clearly learned a lot about herself through the pandemic, and it’s inspiring to hear her reflect on it. When we asked her what kind of advice she would give people she said that it's important to understand that taking time out to rest is perfectly ok. “I hate letting anyone down so I tend to push through problems and illness but companies understand and I think that is something I took a while to understand myself.” If anyone has learnt anything over this time, it's that your own body and mental health come first. If Simone Biles can take time out for herself from the Olympics, you can take a day or two off as well! 

Harriet and her incredibly talented cast mates are currently touring around the UK with SIX and the show currently plans on touring through until September next year. You can catch this amazing show in a theatre near you or visit the show in the West End. It's one of the best shows from the past few years and will certainly bring you the joy we all need right now! 

Want to sponsor this article? We have business opportunities available, just get in touch and drop us a line at 
Blog Design by pipdig