Let's Get Kinky
Posted on 27 Feb 2019

Zone recently caught up with West End star Kayi Ushe, who will be appearing as drag queen Lola when Kinky Boots visits Birmingham this month...


What’s the best thing about playing Lola in Kinky Boots, Kayi?
Being able to sink my teeth into such a multifaceted and exuberant character every day is such an incredible experience. But I can honestly say that the best thing about playing Lola is knowing how many people the character resonates with, and how empowered people feel after seeing the show.

undefinedKayi Ushe as Lola with the Angels in Kinky Boots


How easy is it for you personally to relate to the character? What’s your personal experience of drag?
I have no personal experience of drag. I've admired it from a distance as an art form, and now, having done it and continuing to do it as this character, I have a much deeper appreciation for the holistically transformative art form that it is. It’s really easy for me to personally relate to the character, and I think that's what makes this role, and this show, so unique. We've all been the oddball at some point in our lives, without realising that, actually, oddness and uniqueness is what makes us who we are. We shouldn't shy away from it.


Give us three good reasons why people from the Midlands LGBTQ+ community should bag themselves a ticket for Kinky Boots NOW!
Everybody should come and see this show - it really is a show for all. Come and feel seen. Come and feel represented. Come and let us raise you up!


undefinedThe cast of Kinky Boots

Do you have a favourite one-liner from the show?
My favourite is “I'm not looking for you to say anything”. I think it's so poignant because how someone looks, how they dress, how they feel comfortable when they’re being themselves, isn’t something they need anybody else’s approval on; be that men in dresses, women in miniskirts, people wearing their cultural garb, people with tattoos - the list goes on!



How long does it take you to get into character?
On an average day, I get into work about two-and-a-half hours before the show, usually to stretch and warm up. Then, about two hours before the show, we start the makeup, which takes 45 minutes. Then there’s a company vocal warm-up and parish notices. After that, it's back to the dressing room to add the costume, mics and the wig. I'll usually sing a few bits from the show and then head to the stage for my entrance.

undefinedKinky Boots - Be Someone's Reason To Smile


Did you have to have your boots specially made?
All my heels were custom-made by Jodie Morrison, owner of Steppin’ Out. I was fitted for them on my 30th birthday in Chester, as it was the only time that worked for all of us, and I was already there performing in rep at the Storyhouse.


One of the Kinky Boots sentiments is Be Someone’s Reason To Smile. What brings a smile to your face?
Seeing audience members up on their feet and singing along at the end of the show. It really is an incredible atmosphere, and one that I feel so happy and grateful to be a part of.


Enter our competition for TWO tickets to Kinky Boots EXCULSIVE opening night HERE

Read our review HERE


Book your tickets HERE

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