Kinky Boots is based on the film of the same name, based on the true events of a man who inherits his fathers failing shoe factory when he dies. After a chance encounter with transvestite Lola, he realises a gap in the market for manufacturing high heel shoes for men and they embark on a mission to save the factory!
The show begins with factory worker Don (Jamie Baughan) walking into the factory on his phone and telling his friend he has to go and turn his phone off because he’s at work. The speech was a nice way to remind audience members that their phones should be turned off for the show (and that doesn’t mean silent mode as the vibrations are just as distracting).
Killian Donnelly is fast becoming the king of the west end, showing his versatility yet again with the role of Charlie from Northampton, the clean shaven man who has to grow up fast. The role is a complete change from his previous in Memphis and The Commitments. He is nominated for two Wilma Awards this year and so if you like him be sure to vote now www.westendwilma.com/votenow
Matt Henry is a great Lola, the transvestite from Clacton who takes several of the characters on a journey of self discovery throughout the show. Marcus Collins of X Factor fame is unrecognisable as one of the transvestites and looks like he is having the time of his life in this role. In fact all of the ensemble couldn’t look more like they are loving every second of the show.
Kinky Boots isn’t just a great show but the songs (written by 80’s pop icon Cyndi Lauper) are some of the most infectious I’ve heard in a long time. Opening the show with the toe tapping The Most Beautiful Thing In The World, the hilarious The History of Wrong Guys (performed by Amy Lennox), the emotionally heart breaking Not My Fathers Son and the infectiously catchy finale Raise You Up. I hope there will be a London cast recording as the awful accents on the Broadway production and recording are laughable.
The set is brilliantly put together; transitioning from outside the shoe factory to inside and clever usage of props makes for a great moment when Charlie suddenly grows up without ever leaving the stage.
Kinky Boots is the most entertaining night out since Priscilla Queen of the Desert and will leave you dancing in the aisle. This is one shoe you don’t want to miss!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Matt Crockett
Kinky Boots is playing at the Adelphi Theatre until 6 February 2015. Click here to book tickets