West End Show review: KINKY BOOTS

If you are familiar with West End shows in London, you would agree that the performance standards are very high like in New York. When I heard that Broadway hit show Kinky Boots was going to open in London in 2015, I was very excited but at the same time I wasn’t sure what to expect from it.

Kinky Boots - Boots photo Matthew Murphy

Sometimes going to see a musical without expectations is better. I truly enjoyed KINKY BOOTS because it had all the ingredients for a successful musical: lively and original live music, great acting and singing, good storytelling and a fabulous cast.

With a book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, music and lyrics by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, and direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell,  Kinky Boots won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical, and the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.

We can actually say that this big-spirited musical comes back home to Britain, where this inspirational story is set. The show is filled with joy and the London audience felt it throughout and participated with lots of clapping and laughing out loud.

The story

Inspired by a true story and based on the Miramax film written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price who has reluctantly inherited his father’s Northampton shoe factory. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save the family business from bankruptcy, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola. A fabulous drag queen entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind, you can change the world.

 

kinky boots william big ben

The music

Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning Composer and Lyricist Cyndi Lauper is no stranger to how people want to have fun.  After 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million albums, she has proven that she has the heart and soul to keep her legion of fans compelled by her every creative move. With her first album, She’s So Unusual, Lauper won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist and became the first female in history to have four top-five singles from a debut album. Overall, during her storied music career, Lauper has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, seven American Video Awards and 18 MTV Awards. She recently captured her journey through music and life in her New York Times best-selling autobiography, Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir.

Asked about the show opening in London, Cyndi Lauper said: “It has been a wonderful adventure and a privilege for me, to play a part in creating Kinky Boots. Everyone can relate to this universal story, and I am convinced that people in the UK are going to fall in love with it – and the music will hopefully get them tapping their toes!”

The cast

Kinky Boots Ensemble - photo Matt Crocket

Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry portray the central characters Charlie and Lola at the heart of the story, and joining them are Amy Lennox (Lauren), Jamie Baughan (Don), Amy Ross (Nicola) and Michael Hobbs (George).

Killian Donnelly (Charlie) is played Huey Calhoun in Memphis (read London Mums’ review here) at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End. Theatre credits include The Commitments (Palace Theatre), Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Les Misérables (Queens Theatre), Michael Collins – A Musical Drama (Cork Opera House), The Full Monty (Olympia Theatre) and West Side Story (Solstice Theatre). Killian’s film credits include Les Misérables (Working Title). He has also appeared on television in Showbands (RTÉ) and The Last Furlong (RTÉ).

Matt Henry (Lola) recorded an album in 2014 after appearing as a finalist on Series 2 of ‘The Voice’. Theatre credits include Avenue Q (National Tour), The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Northampton), The Harder They Come (Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nottingham Playhouse and National Tour), The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas, The Frontline (Shakespeare’s Globe), Hair (English Theatre Frankfurt), Saturday Night Fever (National Tour) and Miss Saigon (Cameron Mackintosh). Feature film credits include Muppets Most Wanted and Gulliver’s Travels.

Amy Lennox (Lauren) has numerous theatre credits including Tracks, The Miniaturists (Arcola Theatre), The Pink Bedroom (Defibrillator), 9 to 5 (UK Tour), Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre and UK Tour), Decade (Headlong Theatre), The Secret Garden (Birmingham Rep), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Royal & Derngate/Assembly Rooms), Peter Pan (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Sound of Music (The London Palladium). Amy has appeared on screen in Wrong Turn 5 (20th Century Fox), The Cab Ride (Abelle Films) and Never Let Me Go (DNA Films).

Jamie Baughan (Don) has appeared on stage in Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (Southwark Playhouse), Robin Hood (Bolton Octagon), Chicago (UK and European Tour), Mirror Teeth (Finborough Theatre), Dreams of Violence (Out of Joint, Max Stafford-Clark) and Joe Orton (Phoenix Theatre). Film credits include Alice in Wonderland – Through the Looking Glass (Disney), Legend (Working Title), The Comedian (The Bureau) and Inkheart (Newline Cinema). Jamie has also appeared on television in Hollyoaks, The C Word, Casualty, The Song of Lunch, Eastenders and The Roman Mysteries.

The official London trailer

 

 

Kinky Boots Logo
BOX OFFICE INFORMATION

THE ADELPHI THEATRE

409-412 Strand, London WC2E 7NA

Official UK Website: www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk

Official Facebook: www.facebook.com/KinkyBootsUK

Official Twitter: www.twitter.com/KinkyBootsUK

Discounted tickets available from http://londonmumsmagazine.entstix.com/tickets/kinky-boots

London Mums magazine Discounted Theatre Tickets

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