Arts

Kinky Boots review: The reboot struts its stuff

The jaunty, dazzling and heart-warming British story has finally come home this winter, as ‘Kinky Boots the Musical’ strutted through the country in its first ever UK tour.

The thrilling and up-lifting musical is the winner of every major Best Musical award, including three Olivier Awards, a Grammy, and a host of Broadway Tony’s – including the Best Original Score award won by the legendary pop icon Cyndi Lauder. Lauder’s electrifying songs are paired with the choreography of ‘Hairspray’s’ Jerry Mitchell, in combination with the book by legendary Broadway writer Harvey Fierstein, creating an onstage spectacular.

Based on a true story, the musical tells the soul-stirring tale of Charlie Price, a third-generation men’s shoes factory owner in Northampton, whose business was overcast with foreclosure until help arrived via an unassuming phone call from the spectacular Lola – a performer searching for some fabulous pumps. Seeing a potential life raft for his company, Price quickly turns his factory business to the niche market of manufacturing performance and erotic footwear in men’s sizes, saves the family company and, with Lola’s minute guidance, gets his new fabulous stilettos to the catwalks of Milan.

The real-life Charlie Price is known as Steve Pateman, an Earls Barton shoe factory owner whose business was saved by Sue Sheppard, proprietor of a Folkestone glamour wear shop looking for a supplier of dazzling ladies’ shoes for men. The story of Pateman’s company turnaround was captured by the BBC documentary ‘Trouble At The Top’, which then caught the attention of film-makers and became the film Kinky Boots, before being incarnated as the now-legendary Broadway musical.

nysgo

credit: NYCgo

‘Kinky Boots’ is both an elaborate visual spectacle and a poignant tale of hope, friendship and open-mindedness, embracing the impact that the warmth of human relationships can achieve, and conquering its audience with the personality and glitz of a truly dazzling performance.

I was lucky enough to catch the Edinburgh premiere and watched it hungrily and breathlessly, as the sharp choreography, the palpable energy and the flood of colour transported the audience and got even the Scroogiest of spectators wiggling in their seats.

Should you ever get the chance, do your utmost to catch this accomplished and energising performance, it is a must-see.

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