The Sunday Post (Inverness)


- By Murray Scougall

Kinky Boots

Edinburgh Playhouse, Mon - Jan 5


portrayed a character who suffered one of the most harrowing deaths in recent Coronation Street memory, Paula Lane is enjoying a refreshing change of pace. The actress, who played Kylie Platt in the soap, is part of the cast of Kinky Boots, coming to Scotland for the first time following smash-hit runs on Broadway and the West End.

The musical, based on the film of the same name, will call Edinburgh Playhouse home for the festive season.

Paula, who was in Corrie for six years, plays Lauren in the show. “My character is one of the factory workers, only qualified to stuff boxes,” she explained. “She has a lot of fun and many of the comedy elements come through her.”

It’s light relief compared to the mum-of-two’s role as Kylie, which featured a number of distressin­g storylines and ended with her being stabbed to death on the cobbles. “It was my decision to leave, as I was expecting my daughter, Penny, at the time,” Paula said. “The writers came up with that exit. It was a shock, but I could see why they were doing it and the drama it presented was well worth being killed off for, rather than have her return in a few years with her tail between her legs. “The mark she left was permanent, people still talk about it. I think the writers needed to release the family and I was the only one they could do it with at the time. “I’m not the kind of actress to play just one role and Lauren is a completely different part for me. She’s given me a new lease of life.” Inspired by true events and with songs written by pop legend Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots is set in a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampto­n, where Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectatio­ns and to continue the family business of Price & Co. With the factory’s future in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacula­r form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

For the first six days of the Edinburgh run, Lola will be played by Callum Francis, before he takes on the role on Broadway, and then West End star Kayi Ushe will take over. Having won every major best musical award, including three Oliviers and six Tonys, the show is expected to do big business in the capital and is certainly keeping 32-year-old Paula on her toes. “The adrenaline keeps pumping and I’m really starting to enjoy it, but I had bad nerves at the start,” she admitted.

“I feared I had bitten off more than I could chew but now I feel I have stretched myself and opened up my comfort zone.”

One of the elements of the show presenting Paula with a new challenge is a solo number she performs, called The History Of Wrong Guys.

“I met Cyndi on press day and she gave me some tips for my song. That was definitely a pinch-myself moment.

“Her presence is very much in the song. I’m trying to do it justice, but there is still room to put my stamp on it.”

Paula and husband

Tom Shaw (Corrie’s

Kim Vaughan) are looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh with their two children, Arthur and Penny.

Paula performed at The Fringe while she was a drama student, but this will be a different experience – not just in the size of venue where she’s performing, but having kids to share the visit with.

“I’m busy booking events for us to go along to while we’re in the city,” smiled Paula. “I’ve bought tickets for Christmas At The Botanics and the Hogmanay celebratio­ns – Arthur turns four on December 31, so there will always be a party for his birthday! “We’re all set for spending Christmas in Edinburgh and it will be very different for us. Usually we are the hub of our family and we have people round, so on previous Christmase­s I’ve been in the kitchen. “But this year I’ll get to experience it with the kids and I’m really looking forward to enjoying that.”

Meeting Cyndi Lauper was definitely a pinch-myself moment. She gave me a few tips

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