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Kayleigh McKnight - LIFT Interview

Gartland Productions are presenting a brand new production of LIFT which will run at London's Southwark Playhouse from May 13th through to June 18th 2022. Tickets are available from

LIFT which was developed by Perfect Pitch has music and lyrics by Craig Adams and a book by Ian Watson. The new production will feature direction by Dean Johnson (he/him), musical direction and new arrangements by Sam Young (he/him) and choreography by Annie Southall (she/her).

The cast of LIFT. Photo by Michael Wharley, Poster design by Rebecca Pitt

The production will star Luke Friend (he/him) as Busker, Hiba Elchikhe (she/her) as Secretary, Kayleigh McKnight (she/her) as French teacher, Jordan Broatch (they/them) as Avatar and Marco Titus (he/him) as BYT. Making their professional debuts in the show will be Cameron Collins (he/him) as Ballet Dancer, Tamara Morgan (she/her) as Lap Dancer and Chrissie Bhima (she/her) as Avatar.

Ahead of the production, I spoke with Kayleigh McKnight all about the show, her role and more.

Can you please tell me a little about your character and how they fit into the story of LIFT.

Kayleigh: I play the French Teacher whose story centres around a relationship which is causing her to question her own boundaries and feelings. She’s constantly searching for answers and looks for them in some unlikely places.

What attracted you to the role?

Kayleigh: I’ve been a fan of Lift since its first inception 10 years ago, and when I heard the soundtrack I fell in love with it. The song my character sings is all about not understanding her feelings, and questioning what love means to her. I related to it so hard and saw similarities in previous relationships I’ve had. The idea of not understanding her own feelings in a situation that is challenging her perception of herself… I mean... it’s a gift to explore!

What do you think audiences will take away from seeing LIFT?

Kayleigh: The idea that every person we cross in life has a story that goes far beyond what we see on the surface. We are all the main characters of our own stories, and we’ll never truly know what could be happening to someone unless we ask. Just like someone won’t truly know our feelings unless we tell them.

What inspired you to get into theatre?

Kayleigh: I was a very shy child (shocking to anyone who knows me now) but the theatre was the one place I felt... alive. When I started to learn to perform I just changed and my confidence grew. I knew there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do.

How important do you think it is that audiences come and support new musicals?

Kayleigh: Now more than ever it’s so important for audiences to support new work, especially British writing. We have so much talent in this country and if we can support it at its roots, who knows where it can reach!

Kayleigh McKnight. Photo by Michael Wharley.

If you could get in a magical lift that could travel you to anywhere in the world where would you like to arrive?

Kayleigh: BALI. 10000% It’s the last big holiday I went on in 2019 and I’d give anything to be drinking beer on the beach right now.

If you could share a lift with anyone who would you choose to share it with?

Kayleigh: Louis Theroux. He’s met so many cool people and I think it would be fun to poke his brain.

What is the best piece of advice that you've ever been given?

Kayleigh: What’s meant for you won’t pass you by... so take every rejection as a bend in the road to where you’re meant to be.

What does theatre mean to you? 

Kayleigh: It’s home for me. It’s where I feel most alive. It’s where I’ve met most of my friends who have become family. It’s magic so we have to protect it!

Why should audiences come and see LIFT?

Kayleigh: Because getting to see a new British musical is super rare and this one is a corker (with some of the most stunning music I’ve heard!) so come see us! 

LIFT runs at Southwark Playhouse from May 13th through to June 18th 2022. Tickets are available from

Kayleigh recently completed a run in Heathers The Musical at The Other Palace and released her debut EP Kaleidoscope in 2021. You can stream on Spotify or through Apple Music. You can find out more about her music from

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