100% Kylie: How Lucy Holmes Created a Global Tribute to Australia’s Pop Princess

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100% Kylie: How Lucy Holmes Created a Global Tribute to Australia’s Pop Princess

“You’re not Kylie are you?”
“No, but I’m an impersonator!”
It’s a common conversation for entertainer Lucy Holmes, who has crafted a long-standing career playing Australia’s own ‘Princess of Pop,’ Kylie Minogue in her world-wide touring tribute show, 100% Kylie.

“It’s so weird,” laughs Holmes. “Completely bizarre, but really flattering.”

The performer, whose background is in musical theatre, has been likened in looks to Minogue since she was 15-years-old, but never gave it a second thought until she started doing live gigs after finishing university.

“People would come up to me and say, ‘gee you look so much like Kylie.’ So I just started mimicking her voice at different gigs,” says Holmes.

“We did a residency at Hard-Rock cafe, so I would pull out Kylie songs… It always brought the house down, people loved it because I looked like her and I sang like her.”

Around that time, an agent contacted Holmes and her business partner Derek Bailey and suggested they create their own Kylie show. From there they crafted the stage show which, over 15 years has seen Holmes tour globally and perform several times on national TV, along with a role as Kylie in the award-winning TV series, Paper Giants.

“I’m very honoured to be able to pretend and to act like someone who has had such an incredible part of Australian music history,” Holmes enthuses. “I think she’s one of the best roles you can play.”

Now in 2017, which marks Kylie’s 30th year as a recording artist, 100% Kylie will be taking a greatest hits tour across regional Victoria to celebrate. After performing 800 concerts over nearly two decades, you can expect that the two-hour show is bound to be near perfect, especially with the costumes and choreography playing such an integral part of the show.

“We’ve always tried to do a really spot on, excellent job,” says Holmes. “A lot of our dancers have worked with Kylie – costume makers, make-up artists… Everyone has got something to do with the Kylie Minogue franchise.”

The show is known for its authentic experience, aside from Holmes playing a strong Kylie – to the point where a photo of her was accidentally included in Kylie’s official website – the costumes have been designed as exact replicas of some of the singers most famous pieces.

“It’s almost an art-form for her now. She’s got costume exhibits that tour the world,” explains Holmes. As for the show, “they really create and capture the storyline… So we try to replicate that to a tee with the costumes, because it just makes the show. You walk out with ten thousand dollars of feathers and the audience gasps.”

For Holmes, donning the intricate outfits is as much part of her performance as her singing. “As soon as you put on the towering feather headdresses and the six-inch heels, it does transport you into a different head-space and you do strut out on that stage as an entertainer.”

But what further elevates the tribute show, is that it’s been personally endorsed by the Minogue family over the years, with both Kylie and Dannii praising the show, the latter confirming it’s “the Minogue’s favourite Kylie tribute show.”

The compliment would be huge for any impersonator, with Holmes saying they couldn’t believe it at the time. “Most tribute artists never get endorsed by the actual person you’re impersonating,” she explains. “We couldn’t believe it, we were so thankful.”

It resonated even more for Holmes, because “for us to now come out and say ‘she said we’re the best in the world,’ just took the show to that other level, which was really wonderful.”

The show, which pays homage to many of Kylie’s classic hits like Locomotion, Better the Devil you Know (Holmes favourite) and On A Night Like This, will be accompanied by a live band – allowing the show to be very interactive with the audience.

“It’s just a big two hour rollicking ride,” says Holmes. “It’s like a visual feast, so we love seeing the audience dancing.”

You don’t even have to be a fan of Kylie, she explains, just a fan of good quality entertainment.

“We love that it just appeals to everyone, so people are in for a real treat. There’s a lot of humour, there’s a lot of crowd interaction, it’s definitely a show that people come and see and then go ‘where are you going to be? I need to see it again!”

When & Where: Warrnambool Lighthouse Theatre – March 18, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat – March 25, The Capital Theatre, Bendigo – March 31 & GPAC, Geelong – April 21

Written by Caitlin Haddad