Following affable English gent Charlie (Killian Donnelly) as he reluctantly takes over the ailing family shoe factory, it opens with the epitome of shabby suburbia, complete with comfy cardis and prudent footwear.
Henry’s flawless vocals and a supporting troupe of agile, cross-dressing 'Angels', with endless legs and killer dance moves, make for an electrifying introduction to 'The World of Lola', in a song that celebrates the spirit of kinks, quirks and self-expression.
When Charlie decides to save the family factory by making reinforced high heels for drag queens, the two worlds collide, creating friction, drama and some warm fuzzy feelings. As the ineffectual son moves out of his father’s shadow and discovers his own passions, Killian Donnelly exudes humanity and wit — and his mighty solo, 'The Soul of a Man' is pure rock star power.
There’s a pinch of romance too, as spunky factory worker Lauren (Amy Lennox) tries and fails to resist a burgeoning crush on her boss, and delights the crowds, frantically fanning her armpits as she belts out one of the stand-out songs, 'The History of Wrong Guys'.
With a book by bonafide Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics from 80s pop sensation Cyndi Lauper, the musical numbers are infectious and upflifting – spanning flashy, high-octane ensemble numbers and power ballads that pack a punch.
The stand out message of overcoming adversity and accepting others runs the risk of being too saccharin, but it’s sharpened by quick-fire risqué humour and deftly drawn-out backstories. While the razzmatazz steals the show, leaving you ready to let your hair down and dig out the skyscraper heels, there’s plenty of heart to it too. Expect to laugh out loud, blink back tears and be left with a mild aversion to your sensible flat shoes.
NB: This review refers to the original cast of Kinky Boots. Oliver Tompsett is now starring as Charlie Price, Natalie McQueen plays Lauren and Simon-Anthony Rodden plays Lola.
|What||Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre review|
|Where||Adelphi Theatre, Strand, London, WC2R 0NS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
05 May 15 – 12 Jan 19, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£18.99 - £119|
|Website||Click here to book via Culture Whisper and See Tickets|