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Kinky Boots

Published 16 September 2015

What’s it all about?

Not a particularly labyrinthine store of a popular chemist chain, but a bromantic tale of two men striving for acceptance. After Tony Award-winning success on Broadway, London has finally got Kinky.

On one side of the story there’s sheltered Northamptoner Charlie Price, who inherits a failing shoe factory that he must save or face sacking a workforce of friends and family.

On the other, there’s his unlikely sequinned saviour, drag queen Lola, whose flimsy footwear inspires a rescue plan that sets tongues wagging.

Who’s in it?

The Voice finalist Matt Henry illuminates the stage like a fabulous red neon lighthouse as Lola, positively beaming sass, sex and stiletto love into the auditorium at the Adelphi Theatre. Flanked by a sextet of similarly dragged up Angels, the stage is a place of vibrancy and empowerment whenever they set a stunningly clad foot on it.

Killian Donnelly, fresh from his own Olivier nominated, energy-packed performance as Memphis’ Huey, tones his performance down as reticent, drifting factory heir Charlie, driving the plot but allowing Henry to thrive in the spotlight.

But the show is nearly stolen by Amy Lennox as gobby-tomboyish-worker-turned-love-interest Lauren, whose Gollum-like fight against falling in love is a thing of OTT comedy beauty.

What should I look out for?

The Angels, who are beautiful and terrifying, alluring, intriguing and give electric eccentric performances.

Gregg Barnes costume design; those boots are not just kinky, every inch of them is fabulous.

The travelator-tastic dance routine in Act 1 finale Everybody Say Yeah. If dancing in heels impresses you, this will knock you off your feet… which is ironic.

What will I be humming tomorrow?

Any number of Cyndi Lauper’s catchy songs, from anthemic opener The Most Beautiful Thing In The World and the discolicious Land Of Lola to the stunningly sultry Sex Is In The Heel and euphoric Raise You Up.

Who was in the press night crowd?

Competing with the glorious Lauper on the eccentricity front, we spotted our own Su Pollard along with a man with his own history of West End cross-dressing, Graham Norton. Beverley Knight also popped in to support her former Memphis co-star.

In a nutshell?

These Kinky Boots are made for talking about. Spread the word, this is a heelicious, toeriffic new musical with plenty of sole.

What’s being said on Twitter?

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Will I like it?

Catchy pop tunes, incredible dance routines from director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, a story with heart and a central performance as eye-catching as anything the West End has ever seen. What’s not to like? If, like the girls in Lauper’s most famous song, you just wanna have fun, take Step One to the Land Of Lola.

Kinky Boots is booking at the Adelphi Theatre until February 2016. You can book tickets though us here.

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