Q&A with Katie Elin-Salt

22 January 2018

Katie Elin-Salt is apppearing in the three Roundabout plays at the Orange Tree following a critically acclaimed tour including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The plays are Black Mountain by Brad Birch, Out Of Love by Elinor Cook and How To Be A Kid by Sarah McDonald-Hughes, which we've co-produced with Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd.

What was the first show that had a big impact on you?
The first show I ever saw was Les Miserables on the West End. We travelled up to London as a treat for my 9th birthday and I remember sitting on the edge of my seat, in total awe of everything. The feeling has never left me! 

If you hadn’t been an actor what would you have been?
Rich!! Actually, I was offered a place on a drama teaching course which I would have accepted had I not got into drama school. I've always had an interest in teaching and still teach music and drama alongside my acting work which I really enjoy. 

Can you tell us a bit the characters you play in the 3 shows?
I play Molly in How to Be a Kid, who is a little girl with huge spirit and tenacity navigating her way through grief and family troubles, armed with her imagination and Taylor Swift. In Out of Love I play Grace: a fiercely intelligent person struggling to find her place in the world and break out of the world she was born into. In Black Mountain I play Rebecca who is reeling after finding out her partner has had an affair and has been convinced to partake in a "make or break" trip to try and salvage the relationship.

What's your favourite line from one of the plays?
Grace: "Do you think maybe people don't understand what it can be like? That fire between two women." (Out of Love)

What’s your favourite moment from being on tour with the plays?
In the Lake District, Roundabout was pitched in the beautiful town of Grasmere. It's quite rural and during one particularly tense moment in Black Mountain our dramatic silence was interrupted by a loudly mooing cow! I did ask if she would come on for the curtain call but was sadly rejected. 

How do you keep three scripts and multiple characters in your head?
To be honest with you the hardest thing has been keeping them all in my handbag!!! I have never worked in rep before and was quite daunted, but James our director has a brilliant way of navigating through the process. From the start we rehearsed a different play every morning and afternoon so we got used to switching pretty quickly. It feels like second nature now but is still incredibly exciting!! 

What’s so great about acting in the round?
It feels very real to be acting in the round as obviously this is how real life happens, I think it's great that every audience member has a different experience and it is a very intimate way to present a play too as the audience are very in on the action.

What have you been reading or watching recently that you’d recommend?
I am currently reading Robert Webb's How Not To Be A Boy which is brilliant. Theatre wise I loved Rita, Sue and Bob Too at the Royal Court and I am really enjoying the new series of Black Mirror on Netflix! 

Black Mountain, Out Of Love and How To Be A Kid are playing 25 January - 3 March
Click here to find out more about the Roundabout plays