Understudy Simon-Anthony Rhoden takes on Lola in KINKY BOOTS
April 20, 2017  //  By:   //  Blog  //  Comments are off

2017 is the year that I am trying to bring understudies to the forefront of theatre. If I can get to see a show when an understudy is performing, then I will write about it because it can be a thankless task, for a performer to take on a leading role in a theatre show, only for it to pass by unnoticed by press and media outlets.

In January, I went to see Kinky Boots to review Craig Thomas playing the role of Lola. You can read the review here. This time around, I went to check out another Lola understudy Simon-Anthony Rhoden play the role. Kinky Boots is Simon’s West End debut and he showcases real leading man potential in his performance and has great comedic flair. His muscular physique in not what I would expect Lola to look like but his bulging biceps strangely complemented the sequinned gowns.

Interestingly at this performance, the role of Pat was switched just before the end of act one. Chloe Hart was replaced by Catherine Millsom for the final scene, creating some surprised faces amongst the cast when they noticed she had suddenly taken over the role mid-show! Only a real fan of Kinky Boots would have noticed this switch but it goes to show how hard people work to create a seamless production. It must be a very strange experience to be a swing in a show and be sitting in your dressing room watching TV to then suddenly get told you have to go on stage and immediately throw yourself into a show that’s cast have already got well in to the swing of things but Catherine Millsom appeared to relish the moment to make a surprise appearance and did a great job.

Understudies are the glue that holds the West End theatre scene together. Going on stage at sometimes just a moments notice and giving a leading actor performance was never more well displayed than at this performance.

KINKY BOOTS is now booking until 30 September 2017. Get tickets