Kinky Boots – Adelphi Theatre


Kinky Boots is an award-winning musical by Harvey Fiernstein, with music by Cyndi Lauper. It is based on Geoff Deane and Tim Firth’s 2005 film. Following success on Broadway, the show opened in the West End’s Adelphi Theatre in September 2015 under the direction of Jerry Mitchell.

The show is primarily set in a shoe factory in Northampton. This city has been and continues to be a prime location for the shoemaking industry, dating back to the time of the English Civil War. Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price and his bid to save his late father’s failing shoe factory. Charlie forms a partnership with drag queen Lola, and the factory discontinues the production of comfortable, expensive men’s shoes and begins to make a range of glamorous, glittering, stiletto-heeled, kinky boots targeted at the male transvestite market in time for modelling at a Milan fashion show.

Charlie Price is played by Killian Donnelly (Memphis, The Commitments, The Phantom of the Opera). Price reluctantly takes over his father’s business, leaving behind his life in London with his fiancée, Nicola (played by Amy Ross (Sunny Afternoon, Jesus Christ Superstar, Legally Blonde)), who soon leaves him when he becomes absorbed by his work. Donnelly is fantastic in the role and delivers ‘Soul of a Man’ passionately.

Matt Henry (Avenue Q, Saturday Night Fever, Hair) played Lola. Lola is a drag queen who performs in clubs and comes up with the design for the boots. He stresses the boots need to be “two and a half feet of irresistible tubular sex” rather than comfortable, singing ‘Sex Is In The Heel’. The character is endearing because Lola stays true to himself despite continued taunts and homophobic remarks. Henry steals the show, performing the part with transfixing, magnetic confidence and style.

Lauren starts out the show working on the production line in the factory, but moves into an executive role and is also a love interest to Charlie. Amy Lennox (The Last Five Years, Tracks, Legally Blonde) is phenomenal in the role, demonstrating incredible vocal ability with ‘The History of Wrong Guys’ and ‘Hold Me In Your Heart’.

Don, played by Jamie Baughan (Chicago, Dick Whittington, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf), is a factory worker with homophobic tendencies who is bewildered by the unconventional Lola. His comments are often hurtful but he sees the error of his ways in the end and rises to Lola’s challenge to “accept people for who they are”.

The show has some really strong and memorable musical highlights. ‘I’m Not My Father’s Son’ is a tender and very touching moment in the show when Charlie and Lola share their experiences of having disappointed their fathers, who had wanted them to take over the family business and become a boxer respectively. ‘Everybody Say Yeah’ closes Act 1 and is the celebration of the first pair of kinky boots to come off the production line. The number is marvellously set (the work of David Rockwell), making clever use of conveyor belts. ‘Raise You Up/Just Be’ closes the show, starting with an out-of-place Charlie clumsily making his way down the Milan fashion show runway in high-heeled boots, but Lola and his ensemble (The Angels), and the factory workers, strut down the runaway showing the boots off with style.

Kinky Boots is a sensational, feel-good show, full of flamboyant sex appeal, wonderful music, slick dance routines and an amazingly talented cast.

For more information on your visit to the Adelphi Theatre visit our partner’s, West End Theatre Guide London, website: http://www.westendtheatreguide.london/west-end-theatres/adelphi-theatre/

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