Scene from the Sofa – Five minutes with… Lola Lasagne

Graham Robson April 10, 2020

With over 30 long years of treading the boards, Miss Lola Lasagne is a showgirl with more layers than the Italian dish. Here, Graham Robson chats to the Brighton Belle about what she’s been up to during lockdown, plans for the future and her top tips to get us through…
Hey Lola, what have you been up to?
Like most people I’ve been in a state of shock. No one saw this coming and it’s quite literally stopped the world. The longer it goes on the more the world will change too. Still if it gives the USA and UK leaders spines then we might come out of this relatively unscathed. I’ve been a bit sick as well. No definite corona symptoms but a viral flu bug. All better now thankfully.
Have you been doing anything online?
I haven’t been doing online shows. Not having to shave, put make up on and wear drag has been quite refreshing. And I’m sure the audiences have been glad of this too. Lol!
But I’m starting to feel left out. The problem is that so many acts are doing shows, which is great, so where do you do your show to make sure that people are watching? It’s a huge honour and thrill to be part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival but all performers know that a 1pm show is a kiss of death with very few punters.
And the internet is taking a battering with a large majority of the UK working from home so some live streams have encountered technical problems, shall we say. I don’t want to get dressed up to be ignored but what woman does? I’m thinking of a quiz similar to the one I host at the Duke of Wellington in Soho and that I would have been hosting at Charles Street Tap from May.
We’ve seen loads of other queens keeping themselves busy on Facebook Live… Any faves?
The shows I’ve really enjoyed are by the performers who’ve just done a show. And by that I mean they’ve used their time with a beginning, middle and end. If the audience is using the time to scrutinise a performer’s home then something is wrong. And where the f**k is everybody getting the slashed gold backdrops from?
So my favourites at present are Myra DuBois with her ‘A Problem Shared’ show on Wednesdays, Mary Mac with her ‘Lanzarote Lockdown’ – that voice is insane! I have to mention Lydia L’Scabies with her fabulous Britney pastiche & Herr the Queen with her fabulous Carol Vorderman pastiche. Both are so inventive and entertaining!
Away from the scene I’ve enjoyed the National Theatre play showings, plus the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals.

Any tips to keep us sane/busy during lockdown?

Thank goodness for the internet! The shows I’ve mentioned and all the others, plus YouTube, Netflix etc have been saviours. Can you imagine if this had happened 20 years ago? I suffer with anxiety so music has been so important to me. Loving my radio and making up playlists. I’ve reduced the time listening to the news, opinions so I don’t overthink at all which is so easy to do but not beneficial for people’s mental health.
And use your government approved hours walk/exercise each day. You may not be allowed to be within two metres of others but seeing human faces, kids, animals will do you the world of good and give you a brief taste of normal times. Just don’t abuse your time out. Stay away from others. Wash your hands. Stay well.
What are your plans for when this is all over?
Who can say? We obviously want to get back to normal ASAP but I really don’t think that’s going to happen for some time. I had a full diary this year but if the virus disappeared on the 31st May I doubt we’ll be walking back into gigs the following weekend. There’s going to be a huge period of adjustment for the world after this. We will be fitting in where we can I guess.
I do pray that we heed the guidelines set and the world’s scientists are able to work as fast as possible to find an end to this and halt the loss of life. It’s heartbreaking that people are dying alone and they and their families have no time with each other.
What do you miss most? 
People. Being able to hug my friends. My friend Craig did a shop for me when I was sick and he gives the best hugs. Not being able to do that destroys me. I’m gonna be like a needy Labrador after all of this. Jumping up for a kind word and a rub of my tummy.