KINKY BOOTS – Understudy Paul Ayres takes on the role of Charlie Price
February 6, 2017  //  By:   //  Blog  //  Comments are off

2017 is the year that I plan to do my best to bring understudies to the forefront of theatre. If I can get to see a show when an understudy is performing, then I intend to 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 (unless there is a newsworthy story like when the press flocked to see Natasha J Barnes understudy the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl when Sheridan Smith took an unexpected break from the role).

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Kinky Boots to review Craig Thomas playing the role of Lola. You can read the review here. Not being able to get enough of the show, I went back again last week to see Paul Ayres play the other lead role, Charlie, whilst David Hunter was on holiday.

Paul gave an excitable portrayal of the character and has a great voice which really suits the Cyndi Lauper songs. I felt his vocals didn’t blend particularly well with Matt Henry’s during the song Not My Fathers Son but his solo songs were great. As an understudy, actors don’t have the opportunity to really get inside the mind of the character they are playing as they only perform sporadically. Because of this, at times, I felt Paul was saying the words without thinking about what he was saying but on the whole he did a great job filling the shoes of David Hunter.

Also at this performance, Emma Crossley played the role of factory worker Lauren. It’s a great comedy role and Emma matched both Elena Skye and Amy Lennox in giving a stellar performance of the part.

Kinky Boots is camp, fun and everything a hit musical should be. Despite having seen the show several times, the hairs on the back of my neck still gave a standing ovation at the end of this feel-good show and went to show that great performances are great performances whether from the leading actors or understudies.

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