A quick chat with Kate Maree Hoolihan

Kate Maree Hoolihan has appeared in some several blockbuster musicals since graduating WAAPA in 2000. From Scaramouche in We Will Rock You to Jo in Little Women, Hoolihan has established herself as one of Australia’s leading ladies of musical theatre.

Kate Maree will be appearing alongside Belinda Wollaston as part of the Sydney Musical Theatre Cabaret Festival.

For more information and bookings visit: Sydney Musical Theatre Cabaret Festival

We ask Kate Maree our 20 Questions…

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It changed all the time, I don’t remember most of them. A physiotherapist was one on the list, but once I hit 12 and went to see A Chorus Line, my heart and soul belonged to musical theatre.

Who is the most important person in the world to you?
My husband Troy. He is so much more than anything I could have ever dreamed of in a partner. I don’t know where I would be or what I would do without him in my life.

What animal best represents you and why?
I’ve loved Horses since before I even understood what an animal was. I guess as I got older I felt that I connected with them because I felt we had similar souls. They’re wild and powerful, yet trainable. They’re hard working, you have to earn their trust, and they have good instincts about people.

If you were a contestant on Deal or No Deal, how much would you need to be on offer before you walked away?
I’m not a gambler at all, I believe you work hard and that way you get guaranteed results, there are almost never any real short cuts in life. But, if I had to answer this, I’d weigh up the odds against the chances of losing it all. As long as I had two greens on the board I’d keep going. The few times I’ve watched that show I’ve always screamed at the television “deal you idiot, you’re gonna lose the lot!” And then they do, and I say I told you so… Lol.

What was the first piece of theatre/film/TV you ever appeared in and how old were you?
I was 15, I played Glinda the Good Witch in my high school production of the The Wiz in year 10. They gave me this pink chiffon number to wear, it was truly hideous, and looked like it had come straight out of the kindergartens dress up box. I said in typical teenage tantrum fashion, “I’m not wearing that”. So I said I’d sort myself out. My mothers friend ended up lending me her wedding dress, it was perfect. A satin puffy sleeved merengue! It was quite awful as a wedding dress, but for Glinda it was perfection! I guess even then I was never one to make half an effort.

Windows or MAC?
MAC!!! Can’t say it loud enough. I love all my Apple products.

Favourite food?
Peanut butter, honey and banana on toast… Seriously if you haven’t tried it, you haven’t lived.

Who is the actor you would most like to work alongside?
The impossible question. I will say Bernadette Peters. She is simply incredible, and she seems like an actors actor.

What would be the first five songs you put on a mix tape?
Another impossible question. At the moment it’s my playlist for my cabaret, cause I’m still trying to
learn lyrics. But a top 5 would be:

– You and Me – By Lifehouse (our wedding song.
– Different Worlds – By Jes Hudak
– Forget you – By Cee Lo Green
– Sweet Arms of a Tune – By Missy Higgins
– Verdi: La Traviata – Sung by Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. (The whole thing, sorry, you can’t just pick one aria)

What is the best thing about theatre in Australia?
The talent. You get to work with world class performers.

What’s the worst thing about theatre in Australia?
There’s not enough of it.

Name one moment when you looked around, breathed happily and felt content.
Three days after opening night for “We Will Rock You”, the reviews came out and one said that “my rendition of ‘Somebody to love’ was so full of passion that it would’ve stirred Freddie Mercury in his grave”. I had to read it over and over again to make sure it was really there. I was so humbled, it was a real validation moment for me. It made the whole experience of my first leading role “real” I guess. I know you’re not supposed care about reviews, but any actor who says they don’t (at least a little bit) is lying.

Where is the most interesting place you have travelled?
Internationally it would be Italy. Our culture is so different… Italian culture is glorious.

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met?
Worked with both Hugh Jackman and Brian May from Queen. And I guess it would depend on who you asked as to who is more famous.

Most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?
It’s an obvious one but – forgetting the script. In We Will Rock You – Michael Falzon and I stopped midway through a fight scene and neither of us knew what came next… Although Michael Falzon and I are at odds as to whose fault it was… I believe it was his… We stood there frozen for what felt like an eternity before I eventually said out loud “I’m lost, what comes next?” We then literally went back over what we had just said line by line in full voice, we finally got back on track and finished the scene. Needless to say audiences love being in on the act and we got the biggest applause of the night!

What’s your life motto?
What if? – As in “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
“Giving up is for quitters”.

What’s your favourite post-show snack?
Cup of tea, and Vegemite on toast.

What’s your biggest phobia?
I don’t really have phobias, that I know of. But my biggest fear would be – Losing my hearing. If the world was silent it would be like dying to me.

What is the worst date you’ve ever had?
Went on one date with Stephen Bradbury (the Ice Skating gold medallist) when I was about 19, as soon as we sat down we both knew we were totally wrong for each other, the conversation was worse than watching paint dry, and when he dropped me home we both said “well, see ya later”. We didn’t even try to pretend with the “I had a great night, I’ll call you” charade, Neither of us expected or wanted a phone call the next day.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I actually don’t know. And for the first time in my life, I’m really ok with that. I’m excited about not knowing where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing.

Matt Edwards

Matt is a past owner of AussieTheatre, working as digital director from 2011 to 2019. He is also a performer, most recently appeared in the Australian tour of Mamma Mia! and previously in the Australian/NZ tour of CATS and Enda Markey's acclaimed production of Blood Brothers. As well as performing Matt keeps himself busy in the digital side of the arts working with web design agency Emptyhead Digital

Matt Edwards

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