KINKY BOOTS: They're big shoes to Phil

STEPPING into Callum Francis's shoes is an elevating experience.

During his first visit to the Coast, the Kinky Boots star gave a few intrepid Daily reporters the chance to walk in the sky-high heels he zips up every night for the award-winning musical.

"You've got to keep your legs straight," he tells us.

"You need to just stride out. If you teeter you're going to fall."

It's easier said than done, even for an occasional heel wearer like myself. For the uninitiated, like my colleague Phil Dillon, it's more like suffering for the sake of art.

Francis has had thousands of hours of practice strutting in those famous red boots.

Having fun in high heels: Callum Francis steadies Phil Dillon during his walking lesson.
Having fun in high heels: Callum Francis steadies Phil Dillon during his walking lesson. john mccutcheon

After spending a year as the understudy for the role of drag queen Lola for a year on London's West End, he landed the lead role in the Australian production.

The musical is based on the true story of how making 'kinky boots' helped to save a British shoe factory.

Francis moves so confidently on stage as Lola that it's hard to imagine he'd never dressed up in drag before joining the show.

"I'm an actor so I just fit whatever mould I'm needed to," he says.

Philip Dillon gets a few tips from actor Callum Francis of Kinky Boots at Alexandra Headland.
Philip Dillon gets a few tips from actor Callum Francis of Kinky Boots at Alexandra Headland. john mccutcheon
Callum Francis as Lola in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots.
Callum Francis as Lola in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots. Matthew Murphy


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