Theatre Review: Kinky Boots

This tale follows two young men from vastly different circumstances: Charlie (played by Joel Harper- Jackson) a disillusioned shoemaker from Northampton and a London club’s drag queen headliner, Lola (Kayi Ushe). On one unusual night, their lives collide and together they form a beautifully touching but powerful partnership. This show demands you leave judgement at the door and become fully immersed into the vibrant world of Kinky Boots.

After the death of his father Charlie Price becomes the new owner of family business, Price & Son, but with the factory close to bankruptcy and the threat of redundancy a real possibility, Charlie must come up with a new plan. After meeting Lola and her dance troupe the Angles, a gap in the shoe market becomes apparent, taking the business in a new direction away from old-fashioned everyday boots to functional but glamorous high-heels for men. With Lola at the helm and Lauren’s (Paula Lane) practical support, the runway show in Milan seems within their reach. However as tensions rise relationships begin to suffer and the business causes conflict between Charlie and his career driven fiancée Nicola (Helen Ternent). Despite criticism from the local community and scepticism from within the very workforce, the factory pulls through creating an amazing pair of red high-heeled boots.

Kinky Boots is a feel-good show full of vitality and fun, but it is not without some truly emotional moments. The conversation between Charlie and Lola (born Simon) highlights that regardless of where they came from or who they are they aren’t so different after all. Both have struggled with identity and acceptance in different ways and this scene is the most poignant of the whole performance.

This production as a whole was also greatly staged with incredible costumes, catchy tunes, and fabulous dance routines, especially from the ‘Angels’. The inclusive feel-good atmosphere permeated the theatre, inevitably resulting in a standing ovation from the audience. I could not rate this show highly enough. It is a musical I would recommend to all as it explores the universal feeling of inadequacy and the struggles of living up to expectations whether they be externally implemented or internally constructed. However, regardless of others judgement, the central message of Kinky Boots is to realise that you can only ever be yourself. You must be proud of your own identity as to paraphrase, Oscar Wilde ‘everyone else is taken’.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *