I am a big fan of the film Kinky boots telling the story of a shoe making company which struggles with the challenges of a competitive industry. I knew what to expect and was eager to see the stage production. Arriving at the theatre we were greeted by a giant size pair of bright red high heeled boots. It gave a buzz to the theatre goers who took delight in selfie opportunities and a fun expectation for the evening ahead.

The story begins with a Father who owns the shoe factory giving his Son his blessing to move out to start his own life in London with his Fiancée. The son Charlie ( Joel Harper-Jackson) begins his new life only to be met with the solemn news that his Dad passed away. He returns to finalise business at the factory as he does not want to continue the business. The business has been struggling for a while and he is eager to move on, he is met with a workforce that he has grown up with and the reality in making them redundant is daunting for the new owner.

Events take an unusual turn when Charlie attempts to help a woman who is being attacked. In the chaos Charlie is left knocked out, and wakes in a drag club where the mysterious woman is a drag artist called Lola ( Kayi Ushe). An unlikely friendship sparks new ideas on creating the perfect fitting heels for men in drag and a niche market with the potential to give a new lease of life for the factory and its workers. They return to the factory to work on their ideas and Lola’s expectations.

The story continues with the relationship with the new colleagues and workers, attempting to deal with the changes which results in a hilarious mix of song, dance and drama. Charlie entrusts his ideas with Lauren (Paula Lane) to work alongside him to work on the new shoe range and production. Lauren finding a new side to her boss develops a crush and feelings that she can’t seem to control.

The stage is impressive with the factory setting, the changes in sets were simple but effective. The atmosphere of the factory and the glamour of the beautiful stunning drag artists who make the show sparkle gave a joy to the audience. The songs were a good mix of fun and telling the struggles of all involved. I found the solo by Charlie difficult to hear clearly, undoubtedly a great voice but I couldn’t pinpoint if the music overtook his voice. The performance with the drag artist troupe was stunning, a feast for the eyes with their flirty dance and amazing outfits and high heels. Every woman completely envious of how they danced and moved in gorgeous heels.

The performance by Kayi Ushe was fabulous, a good presence on stage with the right amount of Sass and glamour. The serious side to the story of acceptance of all people was met with the measure and respect it deserves. It was a good portrayal of difference of all the characters and how it’s shaped their lives. The solo by Lola with the white dress was an iconic moment which made me tearful. I thoroughly enjoyed the scene with the conveyer belts which was hypnotic following all that was going on stage.
As the show was ending the atmosphere from the audience gave me a big smile, mature women clapping and dancing with joy along with the cast all in their heels. A standing ovation from the audience which was well deserved.

Good points – Beautiful boots, outfits and wigs to die for.

Bad points – sound quality difficult at times.

Set 8/10 Performance 9/10 Cast 10/10

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