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Tell Us In 10: Kayi Ushe

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 24 May 2021, Last Updated 24 May 2021

In our profile series, Tell Us In 10, we ask cast members and creatives of top London shows to tell us all about themselves in just 10 questions.

This week, we’re talking to Kayi Ushe who will be joining the cast of Disney’s The Lion King in the iconic role of Simba from 29 July at the Lyceum Theatre. Kayi joins the show having performed in The Book of Mormon, Motown The Musical and Crazy For You, as well as touring extensively as ‘Lola’ in Kinky Boots.

Grab a cuppa and settle down as we find out more about Kayi!

1. My route into theatre was…

A little unconventional. After Uni, I wanted to go to Drama school. So I sent off applications but while waiting I took myself to open auditions. Through those auditions I was introduced to an agent and by the time my applications had come back I was working in Fame the Musical touring Italy, and I’ve been learning on the job ever since!

2. My West End idol is…

No one person. I’m constantly bowled over by the tenacity, strength and talents of my peers both on and offstage.

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

A big kid and a total geek.

(Photo credit: James Everett)

4. My favourite show present or past (that isn’t one I star in/work on) is…

Jamie Lloyd’s Cyrano de Bergerac. A stunning piece of theatre that I haven’t stopped thinking about.

5. The career moment I’m most proud of is…

(Besides joining the Lion King!) is voicing King Rastakhan in World of Warcraft.

Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre (Photo credit: Johann Persson)

6. The hardest part about my job/role is…

That I haven’t yet started and cannot wait.

7. If I wasn’t an actor I would be…

A travelling photographer

8. Something people don’t know about me is…

I do a mean Pikachu impression.

(Photo credit: James Everett)

9. The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

“Comparison is the thief of joy” told to me by my father.

10. The one thing I wish I could tell my younger self is…

Your journey is your own. Live your truth and trust your instincts.


disney's the lion king Kayi Ushe lyceum theatre

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