We loved Dolly Trolley’s Princess Leia so much we had to have her back. Dolly Trolley has been smashing it across the Drag scene and the Cabaret circuit. We took the time to find out what keeps the Trolley rolling …
Why did you start performing?
I think I started performing drag and cabaret as way of expressing my pride in myself, and to encourage others to express every aspect of themselves outwardly, have no shame about themselves, and in fact, to rub who they are in other people’s faces; people love it!
I performed as a child and teenager, mostly dance and musical theatre, but I’ve realised that up until I came out as a gay man (when I was 20, now nearly 4 years ago) my performances and creativity were lacking and incomplete, because I was never able to release myself fully into performances. Instead I held myself back through fear of being clocked as a closeted homosexual (which at the time, I was petrified of) if I did “let go”.
I think back to little 18 year old me, scared of who they knew they were, and would like him to see me now and how magical it is to be able to be yourself in your entirety, with no shame, with the utmost confidence in yourself and that people will applaud, cheer and scream for you because you showed them who you are in your performance.
That’s all maybe a bit serious. Let’s all now take a moment to remember that I’m a man in a glittery leotard, pretending to sing someone else’s songs and dancing to Shania Twain or the Macarena.
Do you remember your first time on stage? How did that go?
Dolly’s debut was at the end of March this year, at the graduation showcase of Michael Twaits’ drag course (which is 10/10, would recommend to a friend).
It was incredible! Certainly in my top 5 nights of my life EVER.
I debuted with my 10 minute long Princess Leia act about her renouncement of men because Han Solo is a ******. It involves ballet, lipsync, Kylie Minogue, tap dancing, chairs, thigh high PVC stiletto boots, costume reveals, inflatable men and handstands. Working that act in my first few weeks in cabaret certainly kept me fit, and I had the honour of bringing it to Luscious Cabaret earlier this year.
Of all of your acts, which is your favourite to perform?
This changes all the time, but at the moment my favourite to perform is one of my newer ones – “Bad Kitty”.
Its full of surprises, features music from Eartha Kitt and the Aristocats, as well as from grime artist Giggs (which the audience don’t expect). My favourite elemnt of it is the references to famous internet cats – and who hasn’t stayed up till 4am watching cat videos before?
What sets you apart from other performers?
Probably the amount that I sweat. I’m known for being high energy (sometimes people say I’m “too much” … but I disagree) but I think I’m also known for my parodies of well known characters and the ways in which I choose to recreate them or re-tell their story from a more “honest” perspective.
What do you think is people’s first impression of you?
People’s impression of muggle me (Ed) is that I’m a “nice boy”. People’ mums LOVE me.
I’ll leave you to make your first impression of Dolly in October if you haven’t gotten one already, but my most common first review from people is “I’m exhausted just from watching.”
What’s your favourite thing about cabaret?
The community. This sounds cheesy but it really is. I’ve been performing cabaret for about 6 months now and have already formed an enormous networks of friends who are the most consistently loving, open, supportive and enthusiastic subset of society which I have had the pleasure of intersecting.
How did you choose your stage name?
MY day job/ muggle job is with an airline and so many people jump to ask: “ooh, are you a trolley dolly” … to which my response is, “sadly not. I work in their offices analysing data”.
So from constantly being asked if I was a trolley dolly, Dolly Trolley was born! And its a name which seems to suits the flavour of ridiculousness and frivolity that I have in my performances.
AND I have much in common with a shopping trolley: can often be found abandoned in car parks at 4am – most commonly upturned and with wheels aloft.
What’s your next challenge in life or in performing?
Life: manage to keep my bedroom tidy for longer than 4 days.
Performing: I ‘m entering Burlesque Idol at the end of October (*insert screams of panic*) and would LOVE to do well and hold my own against the other competitors.
P.S. Please come be #TeamDolly if you like what you see at Luscious! X
Luscious Cabaret returns on Friday 6th October you can book your tickets here