Kinky boots musical: Adelphi theatre

It has been more than half a year since we heard about the transfer of Kinky Boots from Broadway to the West End. Was it worth the wait? Yes! Absolutely! It is a ferocious musical with fantastically written music and a heart-warming story. Both the story and the script remain very faithful to the film of the same name released in 2005. The show is upbeat and certainly deserving of the Tony Awards for best original score and best musical. Anybody who loved the film is likely to enjoy this show, some well known quotes such as “Red is the colour of sex, burgundy is the colour of hot water bottles!” and “Sex shouldn’t be comfy!” made smooth transfer from the big screen to the stage.

So, did the musical rip these lines straight out of the film? Yes. Yet, these were undeniably effective classical quotes that should be and absolutely ought to be included with this story.

Needless to say, the leading cast members did some wonderful work on stage. This is the second time I have seen Killian Donnelly on stage this year. Ever since seeing an inspirational performance of his in Memphis The Musical, I have been waiting to see him perform in Kinky Boots. Donnelly carried a certain bad boy attitude with him in his performance, adding uniqueness to the goody two shoes Charlie. Many people would agree, Charlie Price is a less dramatic character when compared directly with Lola (played by Matt Henry), and oh my did Matt leave a mark. I simply lost count on the number of times the crowd went into total frenzies with endless applause whenever Lola and Lola’s Angels burst into song and dance. To me, Lola’s Angels were marvelous and I would be happy to watch the show again and again just to see them!

Up until Lauren’s solo (The History of Wrong Guys), I felt the musical lacked its own identity and had not separated enough from the film. However, Lauren (played by Amy Lennox) has quite a different personality in the musical compared with her film counterpart. This was absolutely necessary to adapt her onto the stage. I felt that this is true for Charlie Price also. Both Charlie and Lauren were more reserved and laid back in the film, but much more vibrant on stage. It is precisely this that made the musical stand out from the film, providing it with a much-needed distinction.

Cyndi Lauper tailored each song perfectly well to the characters and has created a number of musical numbers that are simply beautiful to listen to. “Take What You Got”, “The History of Wrong Guys” and “Raise You Up” to name a few were all exceedingly well done. This album is likely to hit the most played album on my playlist in the weeks and months to come.

There is little more to add to this. How can actors who put on 8 inch sexy kinky boots on stage eight performances a week not deserve our praise? To the people who have decided to watch the show, those who have decided not to and those who are yet to make up their mind, these drag queens are unlikely to leave the Adelphi Theatre in the foreseeable future.

Score: 4/5

Original review published in: http://www.lastminutetheatretickets.com/londonwestend/review-of-kinky-boots-at-the-adelphi-theatre/

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