Kinky Boots – Review

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Kinky Boots: Adelphi Theatre, London

Reviewed 1st January 2018

★★★★

Inspired by a true story this musical tells the tale of Price and Son’s shoe making factory. With the factory facing closure can Charlie Price diversify and find a way of saving the factory, and its workers? Enter Lola and her Angels. Sexy, feisty and dressed in drag. Can they help to save Price and Sons?

This show has been wowing London audiences for over 2 years now and is set to embark on its first UK Tour at the end of 2018. It is certainly an uplifting and feel good show. It’s bright, vibrant and in your face. Perfect for a night out.

Whilst the plot is slightly predictable the music stands for itself. Certain to make the audience clap and cheer along. The score, written by Cyndi Lauper, is really energetic, catchy and positive. Not all of the songs are high energy and during ‘Not My Father’s Son‘ and ‘Soul of a Man‘ the actors David Hunter (Charlie Price) and Momar Diagne (understudy Lola) certainly showed off their tremendous vocal talents.

All the cast were great in their role, particularly David Hunter who manages to show off Charlie’s vulnerability as well as trying to remain strong for the factory. His vocals are wonderful during every song he performs. Lola and her Angels are all fantastic. Dressed in killer heels and with moves to thrill these actors were fabulous any moment that they were onstage. Momar Diagne, who was understudy Lola, certainly knows how to release his inner diva and command stage presence. Not only this but he was able to capture Lola’s inner struggle and make it believable and real.

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The ensemble numbers however are where this production shows its true strengths. From the fantastic costumes, wigs and characters to the clever choreography each actor on stage works together seamlessly to provide eye-catching entertainment. The cast gave it everything all of the time they were on stage, whether they were in the limelight or not. ‘Everybody Say Yeah‘ was a perfect combination of this to finish Act One.

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Another highlight of this show was the amazing set, designed by David Rockwell, and lighting by Kenneth Posner. Whilst the backdrop remained the same throughout most of the show the use of a moveable centre set was fantastic. The set focused mainly on the factory shop floor and every detail had been thought about. The use of conveyor belts during the number ‘Everybody Say Yeah‘ was super and added an extra element. Interestingly this show did not rely on projections or digital backdrops, as so many modern productions do. This is certainly not a downfall. In fact the sets provided the perfect backdrop for this bright and vibrant production.

Obviously no visit to Kinky Boots can be complete without talking about the boots themselves. The costumes designed by Gregg Barnes are just stunning. The London production plays homage to the UK, featuring the Union Jack and Beefeaters among others, and all of the costumes are amazing. The level of detail that go into each Angel costume is insane. Yes they are over the top. Yes they are bright and brash. But that is exactly what the show is about and Gregg Barnes has certainly delievered.

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This show is certain to bring a smile to your face and have you clapping along. Not only does the audience leave smiling and ready to party but they also leave thinking about the central message of this show. Accept others for who they are. So grab your dancing boots and pick up a ticket for this uplifting, hilarious and dazzling show!

 

Kinky Boots is playing at the Adelphi Theatre, London booking until 30th September 2018. For more information see http://www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk/index.php

The Kinky Boots UK Tour starts in Northampton on the 19th September 2018. For tour dates see http://www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk/uk-tour/tour-dates-venues.php

Photo credit: Helen Maybanks and Matt Crockett

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