#TBBreviews Not for the faint-hearted Kinky Boots the Musical is A Thrills & Frills Spectacular!

kinky_bootsThe multi award winning musical “Kinky Boots” is one of the most talked about shows in London right now.

Its home is the respected Adelphi Theatre. Set in the heart of West End’s theatre land, the Adelphi which opened in 1806 has a rich and dramatic heritage from previous contributors such as Charles Dickens and Sarah Bernhardt. It’s also associated to musical theatre royalty sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Based on the book by Harvey Fierstein and directed/choreographed for the stage by Jerry Mitchell, this fantastic musical is an absolute must see! With its cheeky come-backs, upbeat numbers (that’s theatre slang for songs) very sizzling and sexy choreography it has everything you want in a show and more! But beware it isn’t for the faint-hearted, you must come with an open mind, as this is a full on drama queen, hot n sassy, “razzle- dazzle” , thrills and frills spectacular that will have you jumping up and down, snapping your fingers screaming “yass, work it Lola!” by the interval.

Celebrating the wonderful world of drag queens, with all the glamour, attitude, sex appeal, exotic costumes and shoes! Oh yes, Shoes! Shoes! Shoes! The worship of high heels and boots is used as a pivotal statement in the leitmotif. In the story we follow a young man named Charlie Price (played by the amazingly talented David Hunter) Charlie is an innocent and naïve man, turns out to be a perfectionist who realises the potential of his father’s old business and turns a failing shoe company into a booming success, by collaborating with the supreme drag queen and design consultant, our leading lady, Lola. The two of them cater for the limited drag queen market, with a small budget and on little time. Fortunately they are triumphant and then, thrown into high fashion at a show fair for Milan fashion week.

kinky_boots_lolaLola, (memorably played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the 2006 film version) now adapted on stage and played to perfection by the absolutely sensational Olivier award winning and BBC’s The Voice finalist, Matt Henry, who effortlessly steals the show. All eyes were on Miss Lola as Henry’s tremendous performance blew the audience away – some probably tired out by the amount of ostentatious energy he exuded. Interestingly enough though, you happen to see his other side, the non-drag, easy going bloke “Simon” from Clacton. The contrast of this performance was daring, a drag queen is like a magician and never revels his secrets. However in this story you get to see both, the fiery and fierce Lola and the polite and shy Simon. This was a nice touch for those who are unaware of the drag world and want to get a better understanding of the people behind the frocks, and to fight back the controversy of gender roles.
“Look at me–a big old black man under all of this makeup, and if I can look this beautiful, so can you!” A quote from world-famous drag queen Rupaul, which very much relates to that.

The show is supported with an excellent ensemble; the ‘employees’ at the factory who are a power house of singers! “Nicola” Charlie’s pushy and ambitious girlfriend played by Cordelia Farnworth. “Lauren” who has a crush on Charlie, played by Elena Skye and finally “Lola’s Angels” the sexy drag bunch who follow Lola around, and are her reinforcement if a scene isn’t sassy enough with splits, cartwheels and full on risqué dancing.

The reaction from the audience was no doubt a positive one, from curtain up, everyone was under the “Kinky Boots” spell, all jokes were responded with huge laughter and each song received great applause. We all fell in love with Lola and Charlie and of course there was a standing ovation at the end that was so moving the only thing missing were roses to throw on stage!

Kinky boots is a delightful show fun for the family and friends, you’ll be cat-walking all the way home… and when it comes to shoes, channel your inner Lola and, “darling make them redddddd”!

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Review by Eysis Clacken for The British Blacklist