Walk tall

Walk tall

 Boys just want to have fun in the feel-good West End musical Kinky Boots

 Kinky Boots has been raising the roof with its hi-jinxing one-liners and feel-good show tunes at London’s Adelphi Theatre for six months now but the story has walked a much longer road than that. Based on unlikely but true events that were reported in a BBC2 documentary back in 1999, Kinky Boots first inspired the successful 2005 movie starring Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Theatre producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig loved it so much that they brought together director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray), actor and author Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles) and pop legend Cyndi Lauper to transform Kinky Boots into a Broadway musical in 2013. It went on to win six Tony Awards and, since transferring to the West End, has already picked up two What’sOnStage accolades.

 So what makes Kinky Boots so enduring? Essentially, you’d have to be six feet under to not have your heart warmed by the universal messages and uplifting songs of this show. The story is set in a traditional men’s shoe factory in Northampton called Price & Sons. The boss Charlie (Killian Donnelly) struggles to live up his father’s legacy and keep the family business afloat while his fiancé dreams of the bright lights of London. Then a chance meeting with Lola (Matt Henry), a drag queen with abs of steel who is in need of some quality thigh-high boots, sets them all on a fateful path that ends up stalking the catwalks of Milan.

 Amy Lennox as the kooky love interest Lauren and Jamie Baughan as the doubting factory worker Don both add lot of laughs with their stellar performances leading a strong ensemble cast. Meanwhile the yin / yang relationship played out flawlessly by Henry – in one scene a wisecracking showgirl, in the next a prize-winning, albeit effeminate, boxer - and Donnelly as the small town boy next door turned blue sky thinking entrepreneur - is what brings the morals of the show home. Namely, accept others for who they are and celebrate you. Oh and above all, always follow your passion, whether that’s for “two and a half feet of tubular sex” or not.

 For more information visit kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk

  • Words: Helen Jennings