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Sep 15th, 2015
The latest in a slew of brit-coms turned musicals comes to the West End in glorious, high-kicking style. Kinky Boots is a laugh-a-minute celebration of individuality served with huge helpings of sassiness, tenderness and breathtaking musicality starring Matt Henry and Killian Donnelly.
Adapted from the 2005 film, Kinky boasts a book by Harvey Fierstein, direction and breathtaking choreography from award-dripping Jerry Mitchell and music and lyrics by none other than Cyndi Flipping Lauper. After opening on Broadway in 2013, it went on to win an eye watering six Tonys, including Best Musical before mounting a US tour and finally hitting London.
The story of an ailing Northampton shoe factory and the trials faced by new owner Charlie Price, stuck on deciding between his London-bound fiance and getting his act together and saving the family business.
Enter Lola, a London Drag Queen perched on perilously high heels, with enough charisma to melt a glacier. She has a problem though, her women's shoes keep breaking...After a chance meeting, Charlie-boy heads home to create the perfect drag shoe. But Charlie's style deficient product is not quite there, urging Lola to drop everything and invade the gruff factory floor and show him how it's done, fabulously, along with his chorus of Drag pals, the Angels.
Killian Donnelly fills Charlie with the most adorable lost-puppy nervousness that dissipates as he realises his destiny, (including a turn in just pants and heels that only cements his West End heartthrob status,) helped by Matt Henry's magnificent turn as Lola, who blooms under the spotlight but can hold her own against Don (a very funny Jamie Baughan), the factory's resident homophobe. Henry's voice wraps expertly around Lola's songs, engaging emotion and of course, killing it.
As Price and Son realises the potential of their untapped niche market, the story unfolds in triumphant style, with floor shows, boxing matches and a burgeoning love story between Charlie and employee Lauren, (Amy Lennox) the latter of which steals the show with her hilarious realisation that she's falling for him. Elsewhere Mr Fierstein's book teaches us the importance of passion and tolerance, loving ourselves and everybody, enveloping the audience in the most incredible feeling of safety and happiness.
Feel-good, anthemic and infectiously uplifting, Kinky Boots is the perfect foil for Cyndi's alluring 'Just Be Yourself' attitude. Exuding glorious camp, heart and humour, Kinky has clearly already won over London, eliciting more foot stomping and cheers in the first act that I've ever seen on the West End, including quite a few from myself.
As Lola sings, leave your expectations at the door and prepare to be bowled over, cos this one's keeper.
Great night out for?
Everyone! I dare you not to tap your feet to the beat
Amy Lennox as Lauren singing 'The History Of Wrong Guys'
Morning after effect?
Did I really just see Killian Donnelly in his pants?
By Kitty McCarron @ThisisKittyMac
View our show pages for more information about Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre.
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