Anthony Sahota is delighted to be making a bit of a speciality of playing Peter Pan.
His latest Peter is at the Capitol in Horsham this Christmas – the latest stop in the “interesting journey” that has been his career.
After graduating with a degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering from Kingston University, Anthony featured in the BBC’s new talent competition Let it Shine which aimed to find young performers to star in The Band, a new stage musical featuring the songs of Take That.
“When I graduated, Gary Barlow came to my graduation to surprise me! All the BBC film crew turned up, two years ago now, for this show called Let It Shine, and Gary said ‘Anthony, I know you have been working hard for a certain number of years, but I want to give you the opportunity to shine.’
“I was absolutely speechless. To be selected from hundreds of applicants for an opportunity like this and for it to be announced in front of all of my friends and family by Gary Barlow was just the greatest and most honoured feeling.
“You had to apply to be on the show, but I didn’t even know it was happening.
“They have like a bunch of music scouts, and at that time I had a strong social media presence. I had pretty much secured a record deal while I was studying, and I had a passion that I was trying to push. But I was trying to keep the academic side going as well. I had always been interested in how things work.
“I had that geeky side. I got my pilot’s licence when I was 16.”
Appropriately really for someone who’s going to fly as Peter Pan.
When Anthony came off the Let It Shine tour, he did panto, Aladdin in Dubai. He came back to England and did Peter Pan and then he did Peter Pan again last year. And now again for 2019.
“To be Peter, I think you have got to be the cheeky chappie.
“You have got to be confident. But the main thing is the high energy, and I just love the idea that in panto you feed off the energy of the audience. I love that aspect of giving back to them.”
And for Anthony supporting the youngsters within the show is particularly important.
“I was lucky that I had a child’s role in a show when I was really small, and that experience was looking up at the big names that were on the posters, but I felt like I didn’t get treated that well on the show, and that’s why my big priority is about giving back to the children if I am in the right position to do so.
“I really take a pride in supporting the kids, The children are so talented and so committed and it is such a big achievement, but I always want to make sure that they are really looked after.”
Peter Pan is at Horsham’s Capitol from Friday, December 13-Sunday, January 5.
Peter Pan is played by Anthony Sahota; Mrs Darling/Big Chief Chillaxin’ Cow by Nicola Hume; Captain Hook/Mr Darling by Nicholas Collier; Mrs Smee by Hywel Dowsell; Mini Smee (son of Mrs Smee) by James Fletcher; Wendy Darling by Rebecca Lafferty; John Darling by Daniel Kendon / Oscar Ward-Dutton; Michael Darling by Dexter Lamley-Grinstead/Theo Ranganathan; Tinkerbell – a fairy by Freddie Hill.
Box office: 01403 750220 or www.thecapitolhorsham.com.