Kinky Boots (UK Tour) – Review

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Kinky Boots (UK Tour): Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Reviewed 15th January 2019

★★★★

Kinky Boots may have closed down its factory in London this month but the hit show, winner of every major Best Musical award, including the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical,  is still strutting its way around the UK. With songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell and book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein this smash-hit musical celebrates a joyous true story of two unlikely friends, a whole heap of acceptance and of course the outrageous boots that save the Price and Son’s Northampton boot factory from closure. With dazzling costumes, incredibly energetic and catchy songs and a storyline to ‘Raise You Up‘ everyone will be saying YEAH as Kinky Boots the country this year.

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Kinky Boots is an extravaganza! Full of fun, glitter and glamour this musical wows the audience whilst also sending out a fantastic message of individuality and being true to oneself, after all as Lola quotes, ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken’. This musical really is for everyone and can be enjoyed by all. Its fun and catchy songs are uplifting and the fabulous costumes are set to dazzle everyone in the audience. But it is its simple message of acceptance that really makes this musical a hit. As passionately sung in the finale number ‘Just be. With dignity. Celebrate yourself triumphantly’ – this is exactly what Kinky Boots is about – being able to express yourself, however you want, and being accepted for the person you are.

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The 2018-2019 UK Tour cast are all phenomenal. Joel Harper-Jackson is charming and funny as Charlie Price and really comes into his own during the song ‘Soul of a Man‘ where he is able to fully show off his impressive vocal talent. Kayi Ushe plays Lola with all the passion, sultriness, sexiness and sass needed whilst also being emotional and relatable. ‘Not My father’s Son’ is a fantastically moving song and the visible emotion from Kayi Ushe is perfect. Demitri Lamar is brilliant in role as Don whilst Adam Price steals the stage as George with his hilarious one-liners, facial expressions and ability to demand the audiences attention. Paula Lane, most known for her role in Coronation Street as Kylie Platt, proves that she is not just a ‘soap star’ as she sings and acts her way with conviction through the show. ‘History of Wrong Guys‘ is performed superbly and she has the whole audience laughing. The entire cast are excellent and are extremely talented but when reviewing Kinky Boots we cannot forget the stars of the show… Lola’s ‘Angels‘. The Angels, played by Connor Collins, John J. Dempsey, Damon Gould, Joshua Lovell, Chileshé Mondelle and Toyan Thomas-Browne, are all outstanding! In character throughout, the Angels are undeniably sexy, flirty and charismatic! Not only this but their ability to walk and dance in heels of that height is to the envy of most of the female members of the audience.

Staging and lighting by David Rockwell and Kenneth Posner is almost exactly the same as the London West End version and due to this, the production certainly feels like it is direct from London. Brilliant for theatre fans who are not able to experience the capital’s wealth of theatre. The amazing, intricate costumes by Gregg Barnes are a delight to see. Choreography by Jerry Mitchell is tremendous. Clever and dynamic, the choreography is fun and exciting to watch. A particular highlight is the stylised fight scene in the Second Act where Jerry Mitchell’s direction and choreography is really shown off along with the clever use of the travelators during the Act One finale ‘Everybody Say Yeah‘.

Kinky Boots is a fantastic night out at the theatre. Fun and joyous it will ‘Raise You Up‘ and send you away a grin on your face! With Kinky Boots having just closed in the West End this is a superb chance to see a tour of West End quality and talent in your local regional theatre. Do not miss your chance to see ‘The Most Beautiful Thing In The World‘ and find out what the fuss about Price and Son’s new range of Kinky Boots is!

 

Kinky Boots is playing at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury until the 26th January 2019. For information and tickets click here. To find out more about the UK Tour of Kinky Boots click here.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks

 

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