Review: Kinky Boots Dazzles From Start To Finish
Thursday 03 September 2015
On Bank Holiday Monday, I was lucky enough to go to see Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre during its previews period. It has only just opened and the theatre was absolutely buzzing with excitement and rightly so, as they were about to watch the Tony Award-winning export from Broadway. They were certainly not disappointed as this production dazzled from start to finish. Kinky Boots is a real treat to watch, I defy anyone not to feel a smile creep across their face at some point.
Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry star as the meek Charlie and exuberant Lola. Donnelly is really making a name for himself within the West End, starring in hit shows such as The Commitments, Memphis and Les Miserables (including a role in the hit film adaption). He stands out as a real leading man, often adding shades of comedy as a stark contrast to Matt Henry’s Lola. I think the audience felt a great deal of warmth from the character of Lola, Henry owns the stage with so much charisma and extravagance, making the audience feel as though they are sharing a special joke with him, laughing at the outside world.
A huge part of what makes this show incredible is the fantastic writing from Cyndi Lauper (composer and lyricist) and Harvey Fierstein (book), the light and shade is so masterfully crafted. You will go from a high energy dance number oozing with attitude and confidence to a soft and tender ballad that touches you deeply. The relationships between the two leads and their fathers along with the key theme of overcoming prejudice provides the emotional backbone of the show and means that this show will be so much more than a flash in the pan. Lola's final performance brings tears to many eyes and this vulnerability and honesty makes the high points in the character's journeys so much sweeter.
Humour also plays a large role in warm nature of Kinky Boots. Amy Lennox plays Lauren, a feisty employee at Charlie's factory whose funny demeanour has the audience in stitches especially in her brilliant musical number "The History Of Wrong Guys". Donnelly and Henry also have impressive comic timing, through both sass and cluelessness (can you guess which is which?) The entire company's energy and enthusiasm for the show is infectious, you can tell that they are really excited to be part of this whole production and definitely earned the standing ovation during the finale.
This is a truly brilliant show; the stellar cast and creative team have produced a show that I'm sure will pack theatres for years to come. I knew it would be artistically excellent but I didn't anticipate how warm and feel good it would be. Please try and get to see Kinky Boots, especially with this incredible cast, you seriously won't regret it.
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