Having played the role of fairy godmother in Cinderella in Epsom’s pantomime last year, Kate is looking forward to reprising the role at the Alexandra Theatre this Christmas.
Last in Bognor two years ago in Beauty and the Beast, she is thrilled at the prospect of being beside the seaside again.
“I loved the walks in the winter sunshine along the promenade, and of course the wonderful Regis Centre. The staff and volunteers do everything they can to make people feel welcome.
“I have honestly never known such a warm, friendly bunch,” said Kate, who over the past six years has also been treading tarmac as well as the boards.
“It started on a family trip to Canada to visit my brother.
“He was competing in the inaugural Ironman at Mont-Tremblant in Quebec and when he told me what he was going to do – to self-swim, bike and run the distance between my home in Bristol and Bognor – I thought he was insane,” she laughed.
But watching the event inspired her and she signed up to do Blenheim Sprint triathlon the following year.
“A mere 750m lake swim, 12-mile bike and 5k run, at this point I couldn’t run to the end of the road, hadn’t ridden a bike since high school and had a massive phobia of fish,” she told me.
Determined, she began training and over four years competed in several small triathlons, took part in the Ride London 100-mile bike sportive and ran the London Marathon (“I over-trained, got injured and hobbled my way round swearing never to do another!”).
“In 2017 I entered Ironman 70.3 Exmoor, one of the toughest half Ironman races in the world, thinking if this didn’t kill me I’d be up for giving the full 140.6-mile Ironman a go.
“Despite the driving rain, punishing headwinds and hills that resembled brick walls I completed the race with a smile on my face and wasn’t even last.”
Before she could change her mind, she signed up for the full Ironman distance in Canada in Mont-Tremblant.
“The training was brutal. At my peak I was training 20 hours a week, as well as working and looking after my family, but the race was incredible.
“I completed the 3.8km swim in 90 minutes, the 180km bike in seven hours, 42 minutes and the 42.2km marathon run in just over five-and-a-half hours. It sounds insane, but my brother runs up and down the Grand Canyon for fun and my mother climbed Kilimanjaro aged 62, so the madness is clearly hereditary.”
Talking of madness, is she looking forward to the crazy but fun world of pantomime?
“I really am,” she beamed. “Cinderella is the best panto of all, with love, laughter, magic and music – and just wait until you see the 3D scene! My friends who saw the show last year are still raving about it.”
Cinderella is produced by Spillers Pantomimes and The Alexandra Theatre. Bookings: www.regiscentre.co.uk; 01243 861010