As far as jukebox musicals go, We Will Rock You has to be up there as one of the most successful productions in the genre. It has entertained audiences in the West End for over ten years now, helping to keep the timeless music of one of the most iconic bands in the history of the industry alive. Night after night, the show’s cast sing their socks off performing such classic Queen numbers as ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘I Want To Break Free’, ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’, and of course, the iconic title song ‘We Will Rock You’. There have been scores of talented stage performers passing through the WWRY company over the years, and the recent cast shake-up ensures that show remains fresh for the audience and continues to be one of the most popular choices for musical theatre fans. That’s why, this week, the featured ensembe member for In Profile is We Will Rock You’s Catriana Sandison.
Catriana Sandison is a northern songbird who flew south to chase the dream of performing on a West End stage; a dream she has fulfilled with her latest role. Born and bred in Edinburgh, she completed her Law degree at Edinburgh University before choosing a different path, which ultimately led her to be accepted at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. The prestigious London-based performing arts school has produced such stage professionals as Connie Fisher, Oliver Thornton and Emily Tierney over the years, and now Sandison has joined their ranks as a Mountview alumnus who made it to the West End stage.
Since graduating, Sandison has been involved in various theatrical projects which have seen her take on awide range of roles in and outside of London, as well as participating in a bit of panto and travelling the country in touring productions. One of her earliest roles was in the 2004 developmental workshop of Laurence Mark Wythe’s Tomorrow Morning. She played the female lead in this musical about two couples separated by time, which went on to premiere at the London venue of the New End Theatre in 2006. She then went on to try her hand at panto playing Gwendolyn in Mother Goose at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow and playing the leading role of Natalie in the musical Lost.
In 2006, she took to the sea as a lead singer aboard the QE2 with Belinda King productions, performing the likes of Vanity Fair, Hot Me With A Hot Note. She then traded in her sea legs for theatre that provided a more permanent footing, such as her role as Wendy in Peter Pan (Nottingham Theatre Royal), and the title character in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (Lincoln Theatre Royal). She also played the role of Isabella in Plague! The Musical, which was a sell-out success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and toured the UK as a principal singer with Mad About The Musicals.
Following that, she played Ellen Marriot in Game of Murder (UK Tour), Joan in Dames at Sea (Union Theatre)and returned to panto playing the title character in Aladdin (Pomegranate Theatre). In 2012, she took on a leading role in the European tour of The Rocky Horror Show, playing alien-in-disguise Magenta. From there, her travels continued with another touring production as she joined the ensemble team on the international tour of We Will Rock You, also covering Meat Loaf and the leading lady role of Scaramouche.
Her other theatre credits include playing the role of Vanessa in the 2008 workshop of Tim & Scrooge. She has also worked extensively as a voice-over artist, most notably providing the voice of Scotland’s Daily Express. Other work includes appearances in several music videos and having her vocals featured in such big-name motion films as Mamma Mia, The Da Vinci Code and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, in addition to popular children’s films like Kung Fu Panda 2 and Gnomeo and Juliet.
She is now back performing in We Will Rock You, but this time she’s on the stage of the Dominion Theatre making her West End debut. Her ensemble role in the show sees her play such characters as the Teen Queen, but she also has a chance at stepping into the spotlight as understudy to the roles of Meat and Scaramouche.
Catriana Sandison is a talented up-and-coming stage actress who is proving herself a valuable addition to the West End theatre scene. We Will Rock You may mark her first appearance in the West End, but audiences are sure to see her there a lot more in the future.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Saturday 12th October 2013