5 minutes with: Alan Burkitt - 'I'd always dreamed of dancing in Fred Astaire's footsteps'
The Top Hat star talks about his big break in theatre, and the new production of Kiss Me Kate at Wales Millennium Centre
I got into acting completely off my own back (with a bit of help from my mum). I wouldn't stop jigging around the kitchen as a child so Mum sent me to a tap class and I was immediately hooked. I then started my dance training at Deborah Capon's School of Dancing in Whitstable and went on to graduate from Performers College in Essex. If I weren't acting I would actually love to be designing house interiors or gardens.
I would say that my big break was in the musical Top Hat. I played Jerry Travers alongside Charlotte Gooch who played Dale Tremont. I had always dreamed of playing a role that Fred Astaire had played so to finally land the role was a dream come true. To be part of a 47-week tour around the UK was a fantastic experience and is certainly one that I will never forget.
Kiss Me, Kate is a show within a show telling the story of a group of players putting on a Shakespeare musical based on Taming of the Shrew. There is drama both on and off the stage with the relationships of these characters stretched to breaking point while they deal with heartbreak, two frightening gangsters and the hottest summer possible.
I play Bill Calhoun who I'd say is a bit of a rogue. He flirts with all the chorus ladies but really only has true feelings for his Lois. However this doesn't stop him gambling the producers' money away and returning to the theatre sozzled! It's a fun part to create and I'm very much looking forward to going back on tour and performing the role for audiences across the country.
I would love to do the Australian tap musical Hot Shoe Shuffle. I remember my jaw hitting the floor when I saw it as a kid. I'm definitely hoping that they'll bring it back one day and that I'll get to be part of it.
Kiss Me Kate opens at Wales Millennium Centre on 29 September, and then tours to Liverpool, Bristol, Oxford, Southampton, Birmingham and Llandudno.