Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots has been around for a while, but I’d never got round to seeing it, until I realised that cast change was about to happen, and if I wanted to see the original cast I’d better hurry up. I ended up seeing the show during the final week before cast change, and only wish I’d got around to seeing it sooner.

The show tells the story of Charlie, the heir to a failing Northampton shoe factory who realises that the only way to keep the business afloat is to cater to a niche. When he meets Lola, an entertaining drag queen, he realises that he has found it. He employs Lola to design a new range of shoes, but can Northampton accept Lola and her friends?

The first twenty minutes or so of the show are fairly standard musical fare – setting the scene and so on – but the first appearance of Lola really brings it to life. Matt Henry is absolutely fantastic in the role, he has so much charisma and stage presence. Later in the show, we see a softer side to his character and he is excellent at bringing out this aspect of Lola too. Kieran Donnelly’s character is naturally enough overshadowed by Lola, but his performance is also strong, giving us a character who is sympathetic in his own right and is an excellent foil for Lola.

I really liked the music, composed by pop queen Cyndi Lauper: Lola’s songs are the best, but there is a great funny number sung by Lauren (Amy Lennox). The choreography, too, is inspired, especially the factory scene featuring Lola and her Angels.

Even if you’ve never seen the original film – and I haven’t – it’s not hard to predict how the story will pan out. The journey, though, is such a joy that it’s impossible to be bothered by this. I loved the show, and I’m sure I’ll be back to see it with the new cast.

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