Me, Myself and I: Louis Van Leer

Louis is one of the stars of Margot, Dame, the Most Famous Ballerina in the World at The Kings Head Theatre, he has a sweet tooth, loves Graham Norton and loves to learn.


Where are you from originally?

I’m from London – born and bred. I lived in Lewisham all my life until I moved out for ballet school.

And where do you live now?

Since coming back from tour I’m back with my mum, stepdad and younger brother in Catford, Lewisham.

What do you love about London and why?

London is my home and has always been one of the great loves of my life. I love the architecture, the river, the people, city life and the London Underground!

How would you describe the show Margot, Dame…?

The show is about Margot Fonteyn and the incredible sacrifices she makes for her husband, Roberto de Arias; the conflict she faces between her dream of a simple existence as a loving wife and her career as the most famous ballerina in the world.

Can you tell us about your role?  

I play Alexandro, a young dancer who studies under Margot as her protégé. He’s a confident character who is there for Margot when she needs a friend.

What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?

The last show I watched was London Studio Centre’s Jazz Dance Company at the Greenwood Theatre, and I was really impressed with the level of performance and professionalism that I saw. It was a fun show made all the more special by it being their last before they graduate.

What is your guilty pleasure and why?

Food. Always food, particularly sweet things – I should definitely eat less of them but they’re too good.

Best gift you’ve ever received?

I love to travel, so the best thing anyone can ever get me is something I can use on my travels – or better still, help getting me there.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I think the highlight of my career so far has to be dancing Mr Mistoffolees in Cats. My mum, dad, stepparents and best friend all got to come and watch me being lowered from the ceiling in a luminescent jacket – what more could you want?…

If you could go back in time which year would you choose?

This year just gone. I would do it all again. Since graduating, I have been fortunate enough to have an amazing first year in the industry – I’ve danced in some amazing places and met some incredible people who I know will stay with me for life, and I’ve had so much fun. Or, I’d go to New York in the 80s and just lose my shit.

What’s the best party you’ve ever been to?

Impossible to choose, there’ve been too many, but there’s only three things you need for a good party – good booze, good music and good company.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

If it doesn’t matter in a year then it doesn’t matter.

Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?

I really like Graham Norton – I love to laugh and I think the world can be made so much better by just a little joke or some laughter, and he’s hilarious.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride is about being who you’re meant to be – who you were born to be – and not having to worry about being oppressed or intimidated. Countless people throughout history have been persecuted for being themselves, and Pride is about honouring their legacy and making sure that that comes to an end; standing up and saying ‘this is who I am, world, deal with it’. It’s a celebration of freedom.

Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media?

I use social media, particularly Instagram, as my scrapbook; it’s a picture record of my life and all the people I love. I don’t follow many celebrities, so I guess I would say my friends entertain me the most. I do love a good cooking video though…

Where in the world would you like to visit before you die?

That’s like asking what food you want to try before you die – all of it! If there’s something new to try – a new place to go or a new experience to have – why would you not want to do it? I’d love to do a complete tour of the US, of Japan and of South America, and I’d love to go to Africa to name a few.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wish I knew how much I loved to learn. I really am a total nerd and I love learning about language, history or basically anything interesting, but it’s a passion I discovered quite late because I never found the right thing to stimulate me. If I could say anything to my younger self it would be don’t wait – pick up a book, pick up a pen, learn some shit. Also, do yourself a favour and try harder at ballet school. Seriously. 

You can see Louis in Margot, Dame, the Most Famous Ballerina in the World at The Kings Head Theatre on 17 and 18 July, tickets from

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