Quality Engineer, Andy Potter, Takes to the Stage
When RP hired new recruit, Andy Potter, we thought we knew exactly what we were getting.
As our new Quality Engineer, we knew that Andy would be detailed, methodical and precise. We also knew that he would be highly skilled in quality assurance, risk assessments and problem solving.
It turns out, however, that there are more strings to Andy’s bow than even we could have imagined.
For the past month, Andy has been hiding a hidden talent from us all… a talent for musical theatre.
Unbeknownst to everyone at RP, it transpires that Andy is about to appear on stage in a production of ‘Made in Dagenham.’ The show, which takes place in May at The Mill Theatre in Sedgley, is based on the true story of a group of sewing machinists who went on strike in 1968 to obtain equal pay.
There was a successful film made in 2010, starring Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins, followed by a 2014 West End musical.
Andy will play former British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. Andy has his own pipe and overcoat already selected, ensuring that he can slip effortlessly into character at a moment’s notice.
But what does Andy think about taking on the role of such an influential figure in British political history? “I have never acted before so it will certainly be a challenge,” Andy joked. “And I am definitely old enough to remember him. In the show, I will embellish his character somewhat and will play him as a buffoon. I will just have to ensure that I remember my lines!”
So how does someone who has never acted before suddenly end up on the stage? “I reached a point when I decided it was time to do the things that I had always wanted to do but had never got round to,” Andy recalls. “I made a concerted effort to get out there and make these things happen.”
And Andy certainly did that. Not content with tearing up the stage, Andy decided that he could be just as useful behind the scenes as well. “During COVID, like most people, I had plenty of time on my hands, so I decided to sit down and write a pantomime. Six weeks later, I’d finished it.”
The pantomime that Andy has written is adapted from the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen called ‘The Princess and the Pea.’ It is about a prince who wants to marry a princess but the only ladies he meets are rude and spiteful and vain. One night, a charming young lady knocks the door to the palace and claims to be a princess. The prince decides to put her sensitivity to the ultimate test.
Andy sent his finished script to several theatre companies, and it wasn’t long before the phone rang. “I’m in talks with a theatre company who have asked if they can stage it. They have also asked me if I would be interested in directing it! I certainly didn’t expect to have that kind of opportunity.”
So, in a short period of time, Andy has gone from Quality Engineer, to writer, to actor, to (potentially!) director.
Well done, Andy Potter! At least you didn’t spend all of lockdown procrastinating!
The dates for the performance of ‘Made in Dagenham’ at The Mill Theatre in Sedgley have not yet been announced. If you are interested in seeing Andy as Harold Wilson, please check for updates on the theatre website: https://www.thedormstoncentre.co.uk/theatre. Alternatively, if you would like to check on the progress of Andy’s pantomime, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.