My Inspiration: Lee Kyle – Disco Twix | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Comedian, writer, podcast host, Felt Nowt board member and former wrestler, Lee Kyle, brings Disco Twix, his fifth solo show, to The Stand, Newcastle on Tuesday 22nd November. This is a show about trying to come to terms with his weirdness, his feminine heterosexual ways and and how growing up on a Jarrow council estate shaped the idea that he should hide his oddness. It’s filled with left-wing angst and personal doubt and talks about gender but from a very different perspective than the stereotypical North-Eastern straight white man approach.

Here, Lee offers us more insight into what inspired it…

There comes a time, a time that occurs at roughly the age I am now, where you have to make a choice. Do you engage with the world as it is or do you long for the past.

By which I mean, do I do what lots of people my age do and bang on about how much better the nineties were and how the very idea of pronouns is an affront to everything that Oasis hold dear?

Well, the truth is people my age, the world wasn’t better in the past, YOU were better in the past and nostalgia is death.

My inspiration for my current show is oddballs and weirdos. The type of person that a 1980s Jarrow childhood has made me spend much of my life trying to pretend that I’m not.

I remember seeing the likes of Bolan, Bowie, Burns (Pete, not Mr) and Boy George on TV and people being put off by them, not knowing quite what they were but knowing that there was something not right. I never felt like that, I never felt like they were strange. I looked at them and thought “That’s like me!”

Not in terms of sexuality, at that age I had no idea that some of them were gay, and it turns out I’m not, more in terms of being, I don’t know… something else?

But I also knew, through the ever-present threat of violence and suspicion that you encountered growing up in 1980s Low Simonside that people mustn’t ever know that I’m odd. And I hid it.  I became a shy and reserved kid, and always wore the blandest clothes and listened to, at best, average guitar music.

I have nothing but admiration for the people who are 100% themselves. I’m 43 now and trying to get better at it. My son is flamboyant and cool. I’m very proud of him. My wife is weird and funny and kind. We’ve worked together to be as comfortable in our skin as we can be.

I’m so grateful to the outlets I had during my teens, most specifically the music press in the mid-90s, which showed me a world I didn’t know and gave me a more useful education than I received as a bright ADHD kid in secondary school.  Incredible writers like Neil Kulkarni and Simon Price who went way beyond telling me which bands were good. They gave me an education in looking for joy and in questioning the usual.

And in being angry.

This is the show I wanted to write, I’m trying to be 100% honest throughout it, including with myself. It’s difficult. I’ve trained myself to hide. But I AM angry. It’s a show about left wing politics and about gender issues but from the opposite perspective from the one I was brought up to have.

Until I was 18, I only ever heard gay used as an insult and can only imagine the commotion if anyone had come out as gay, let alone as trans. The world is full of problems but, on the whole, it is better now. On that at least.

And as a white straight man, the very least I can do is back up good people, with the only skill I really have. Talking shit on a stage.

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