We spoke to Amy Thompson, chirpy presenter of popular children’s show Milkshake! about her new role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast at St. Helens Theatre Royal and her experiences in the world of children’s entertainment.
How does it feel to play one of the most-loved fairytale princesses of all time?
I’m very excited to play Belle – she was my favourite fairytale princess when I was a little girl. This is the first time that I’ve been given an opportunity to play Belle on stage, so I cannot wait to get into that beautiful yellow dress!
What is it like switching from being Amy on Milkshake! to Belle at St. Helens Theatre?
I would love to be a princess every day but I’m just Amy from Hull! I trained as an actress originally so it’s nice for me to go back to my roots and play a character. It’s always good when I get the opportunity to do something different and perform in pantomimes and on stage because I love acting. I think when I play Belle I will have to lose my Hullensian accent a little bit though!
Do you prefer being on TV or performing on a stage?
I love lots of different things about both!
I grew up performing on stage, so being in front of a live audience will always be really special to me. Every day is different and anything can happen. It’s exciting being on TV because so many people see you but the pressure to get everything right is huge!
I don’t think I have a solid preference, but I guess if I was pinned down and had to choose, I would definitely say I prefer being on stage.
What inspired you to work in children’s entertainment?
I am the eldest of four girls, so I’ve always been used to being around children and it has always come quite naturally. I grew up watching Phillip Schofield on CBBC’s Broom Cupboard and I always thought that children’s TV presenting would be such a fun job.
I grew up watching theatre performances in Hull and when I was at university I got my first professional job. From the contacts I made, I ended up getting involved in children’s theatre. I found that I was good at it and, most importantly, I really enjoyed it.
What does it feel like being a role-model for so many children?
I’ve always wanted to be a performer and worked really hard to achieve my dreams. If I can inspire other people to achieve their dreams and work hard then that’s a lovely thing to do. I tend not to think about how large our audience is on Milkshake! as it’s such a big responsibility to have!
What advice do you have for children wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Practice, practice, practice! The more you practice, the better.
I think you can go down academic paths or pursue it as a hobby. I went to dance school when I was little which got me used to being in front of an audience and used to memorising scripts. I would recommend that you start with a class in the field that they enjoy and carry this on through school – I ended up doing drama at university.
Amy is performing at St. Helens Theatre Royal as Belle in Beauty and the Beast from Sat 01 – Sun 23 April 2017. Make sure to book your tickets before the final rose petal falls!
For more information, please visit: www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on: 01744 756 000