Hand-picked by Adele herself on Graham Norton’s BBC Adele Special, Katie Markham offers Someone Like You, The Adele Songbook at Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal on Wednesday, February 14.
“I fell into it by accident really,” says Katie of her Adele career. “I have always been a massive fan of Adele from her first album and from there I did a couple of showcases and ended up performing as her as well.”
Katie also did X-Factor in 2013 and was proud to be in the last seven: “I think the whole experience did help make me strong. I am glad I did it – very glad. It is something that you need to prepare for. They throw a lot at you, and you need to be quite thick-skinned. It was quite a challenge and very emotional, not knowing what is going to happen and whether you are going to go through. I sang One and Only, which is one of my favourite Adele songs, but I don’t think they wanted me to sing Adele really.”
As for the Graham Norton Adele Special, the point was that none of the wannabee Adeles knew what was really going on.
“We were just invited to perform at a pilot show with the possibility of an on-going show and that something might come out of it. They said could we send in a video and a bit about us and how much we liked Adele and what we think of Adele and a funny story as well, and we were then invited to London to audition.
“I think there were about ten of us, and they were getting us to do different interviews and walk-ins, and they had us doing all sorts of different things. They filmed me going into the theatre. I didn’t actually see Graham Norton apart from when he walked onto the stage. We didn’t know he was there. We just knew that we were going to go on to perform as Adele. We had micro-phones on and we were in two groups in the changing rooms, and I was a little bit wary. I didn’t know why we were there. They put me on first; in hindsight it was because they knew I was a little bit suspicious.
“And they had all eight of us perform. I was just sitting watching them all, and then at the end, all the camera angles changed, and the cameras were on us, and then Jenny came on the stage… Jenny who turned out to actually be Adele. We had all sung, and we were just sitting waiting, looking at the stage.
“She came out to sing and forgot her lines apparently… but I had studied Adele. I knew exactly what she was like and how she sounds, and I was like on the edge of my seat. And then when she started singing, I knew straightaway that it was her. I was in shock, and you can see the shock going down everyone in the line.”
It all proved to be part of Adele’s publicity for her new album. But for Katie it also led directly to the current show. The producers picked her up.