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Kinky Boots - the Stage Show London! Featured

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The stage production of kinky boots is set in the town of Northampton in the middle of England. Northampton was one of the main shoe making centers of the UK and was caught out, as many other manufacturing industries were, by the rise of cheaper imports from foreign manufactures in the 1980’s.

With a shrinking market and stiff competition, the factories had to modernise, diversify or die.

The film and stage show is based on a true story of a factory owner, Steve Pateman struggling with possible closure of his company, W.J. Brooks Ltd, and in 1999 diversified the product to produce a fetish line of shoes under the ‘Devine’ brand name after being contacted by fetish shop owner looking for someone who could make shoes to order after her supplier let her down.

The transition from making Brogues to Fetish Shoes was captured in a BBC documentary at the time and coined the name ‘the Kinky Boots factory’

The business was built on exports to German and European markets, with the shoes being presented at the Frankfurt shoe exhibition to launch the brand.

Sadly this all came to an end after 7 years and the factory finally closed its doors in 2006 after over 100 yrs as a family owned business.  

A film was made in 2005 based on the BBC documentary and employed a little poetic license to enhance the story, which included the introduction of Lola, a drag queen who becomes the main focus of the film as the inspiration for the new product and the co-opted designer of the boots and shoes, with deadline to launch them at shoe show in Milan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinky_Boots_(film)

Following on from the film, the Stage Production of ‘Kinky Boots’ was launched in 2012 in Chicago it moved to Broadway in 2013 and also started touring in the US the following year.

The production gained acclaim, wining several ‘Tony’ awards including best musical and best musical score for Cindy Lauper.

In 2015 the production set foot in the UK for the first time and opened in the West End at the Adelphi theater. You can see the seat plan and tick info HERE.

So – what about the show I hear you ask…

I saw the show in London in November 2015 with a full house and lots of enthusiastic theater-goers.

The fabulous stage sets and fast moving storyline keep the audience engrossed in the action. The energetic performances and belting songs with great one-liners and quips were very entertaining and created lots of ‘laugh out loud’ moments.

On stage location transitions were managed very well with a multi purpose central unit that became a factory, night club and fashion runway before your very eyes!

One or two lines were a little uncomfortable, particularly where Lola tries to explain the differences between Drag, Cross-Dressing and Transgender. I thought that her comments could have been much better scripted in her definitions, as they seemed to be very out of date.

However on the whole it seemed to be able to put a positive message across re-enforcing the pro diversity and acceptance message.

The cast was excellent with Lola being played by Matt Henry who was runner up in ‘the Voice’ - a BBC television competition, and seasoned thespian Killian Donnelly in the lead role as Charlie Price.

Over all I enjoyed the production and it raked well next to Pricilla, Queen of the Desert, and the 1986  production of Le Cage aux Folles.

The songs were all unfamiliar to me, but all stood up well with in the context of the show, however I would like to hear them again away from the stage to reflect on their depth. I am a great fan of Cindy Lauper and felt that her style of writing would bring something fresh to the stage in a period, which is dominated with the traditional musical format. However in my opinion this was not the case as I felt the music and songs were following the ‘musical format’ to a degree.

Yes I would recommend it, Yes it had a good TG message and content and Yes I enjoyed it. I would go to see it again if it came to a theater more local rather than travel up to London and pay London ticket prices.

So, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, and those who have yet to make up your mind’,  go and see it --  you'll enjoy the show.

http://www.chimeric.demon.co.uk/diversity/interviews/divine/index.html

http://www.northampton-news-hp.co.uk/kinky-boots-fighting-fires/story-21673633-detail/story.html

Dawn Wyvern

November 2015 

Last modified onThursday, 03 March 2016 15:00
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