BLOG : Kinky Boots Review: Not A Sequin Out Of Place - Don't Wait Around To See This Fantastic Show!
Thursday 18 February 2016
Warning: this review may contain gushing. That's because I've just watched Kinky Boots for the third time and I'm still on a bit of a high, so apologies in advance.
Kinky Boots, based on the 2005 movie, which in turn was inspired by true events, is the story of Charlie (Killian Donnelly) from Northampton, whose family owns a shoe factory, but who has zero interest in making shoes. The first chance he gets, he runs away to London with his fiancée Nicola (Amy Ross), only to be called back when his dad passes away. Suddenly finding himself in charge of a failing business, Charlie discovers unexpected inspiration in new friend Lola (Matt Henry), a drag queen who just happens to have a designer's eye when it comes to footwear. Together Charlie and Lola set out to create a range of boots for the ultimate niche market, in a journey that turns out to be life-changing for them both.
Sounds a bit cheesy? It is, and that's why we love it. I have a lot of favourite West End shows; I’m indecisive that way. But there’s a good reason Kinky Boots catapulted straight into (at least) my top 5 when I first saw it last year: it’s fast, furious and downright fabulous from start to finish, full of an infectious joy and energy that make it genuinely hard to keep the smile off your face pretty much from the start. And at the heart of all the fun is an important message about accepting others, but - just as crucially - accepting ourselves for who we are, and not being afraid to let the world see it.
The cast are, as ever, phenomenal - Killian Donnelly’s Charlie is a flawed yet loveable character; it’s not difficult to get behind him as he fights against all the odds to save his family’s business. There's a brilliant comic performance from Amy Lennox as Lauren - her rendition of The History of Wrong Guys is one of the many highlights of the show, as is any moment Lola's incredible Angels are on stage. But for me, the star is still and probably always will be Matt Henry, who’s sassy, sexy and simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking as Lola.
Cyndi Lauper's music likewise covers the spectrum, from heartfelt moments like Soul of a Man and the emotional Not My Father's Son, to full-on, high-energy dance numbers choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. While the show-stopping close of Act 1 could easily be the show’s finale, the actual finale hits another level altogether; it’s no wonder the audience are on their feet every night. Now where’s that London soundtrack we’ve been promised…?
What haven't I gushed about yet? Oh right, the shoes. Well they're fabulous, obviously.
Kinky Boots has just extended its run at the Adelphi Theatre, which is great news. But don’t wait around to go and see this fantastic show; after all, the sooner you go, the sooner you can go again…
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