From Hospital Admin Clerk to Foxy-Roxy

She’s an admin clerk and mother to a two-year-old daughter by day and a foxy-Roxie, strutting her stuff on stage by night. No one would ever know but for the fact she just can’t stop humming All That Jazz and Razzle Dazzle under her breath all day.

Northland DHB medical wards clerk Cat Hodder doesn’t really lead a kinky double life – well not in real life. She has the lead role in the up-and-coming Whangarei Theatre Company’s Chicago which opens August 1.

Set in the 1920s, the musical Chicago follows the story of Roxie Hart, who ends up on Death Row with Velma Kelly and her fellow Murderesses after shooting her lover in cold-blooded murder. A rivalry begins between Roxie and Velma as they both fight for the limelight and fight for their freedom.

Although Cat, 28, is content with her life – when she’s not looking after patient files, re-stocking doctors’ trolleys and answering phones, she’s at home with her partner and daughter Madison – she says it’s a dream come true to play Roxie.

“I’ve been in love with Chicago since I saw it in the West End when I was just 13-years-old,” says the bubbly blonde.
“I just love the jazzy feel, the musical numbers and all the characters. It is a dream role to play Roxie and I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

Cat has been performing for as long as she can remember and gained a diploma in performing arts in the UK before moving to New Zealand in 2005. Her first big show was in Whangarei Theatre Company’s Cabaret in 2007 and, since then, she has performed in one or two shows a year until falling pregnant in 2011.

Apart from playing a supporting lead in the musical Disco Inferno in 2010 and one of three main characters in the Terry Pratchett play Wyrd Sisters, she has also had roles in The Buddy Holly Story, Cats and Miss Saigon, amongst others. 

“It is a huge passion of mine. I love the buzz you get from performing on stage and the social aspect of theatre too. It’s so much fun and great exercise too,” she says.

After spotting the ad in the paper calling for Chicago auditions, she decided to give it a shot. The character of Roxie will be her first lead role and, Cat admits, the juggling act has been exhausting. 

“When I get a night off, it’s spent at home and I grab an early night whenever I can so, other than theatre and work, I become a bit of a hermit over the rehearsal/show period. I do it because I love it and that buzz I was talking about earlier makes it all worth it.”

Auditions for Chicago were the first week of April and rehearsals began mid-April, including, at times, four evenings a week, as well as Sunday. 

“It has involved a lot of time away from my family but they are incredibly supportive. My partner is my rock, cooking for us every night, which gives me one less thing to think about

“I’m in a part-time role at the hospital for now so it means I get to spend extra time with my daughter so I don’t feel like I’m missing out too much. You learn to switch off from work when you are at theatre and tune out from the character when at work.

“I’m always singing the songs at home and in the car and Madison will even sing along here and there, which I just love.

“I’ve had my fellow ward clerk ask me a few times if I’m reciting lines under my breath (which I usually am), and the songs are constantly going round in my head. I try not to give too much away though.”


Cat Hodder is an admin clerk and mother by day. But she converts to Foxy-Roxie by night.

# Chicago runs from August 1-16 at The Riverbank Theatre. Tickets can be purchased from The Whangarei Theatre Company website or from Whangarei Suit Hire.

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