REVIEW: KINKY BOOTS (Adelphi Theatre) ★★★★★
September 9, 2016  //  By:   //  Musicals, Reviews  //  Comments are off

wilma-awards-vote-now-937x156pxdavid-hunter-charlie-price-and-ensemble-in-kinky-boots-credit-helen-maybanksKinky Boots celebrated its 1st birthday in the West End last night with a special media night to introduce the new cast of the show. David Hunter (Once/One Man Two Guvnors) has replaced Killian Donnelly in the lead role of Charlie alongside Matt Henry who remains in the role of Lola. David Hunter has some big shoes to fill after Killian Donnelly’s critically acclaimed performance but I went along in full faith that one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, would smash it. And I wasn’t wrong.

If you’ve not seen the show before, Kinky Boots is based on the 2005 film about a boy who grows up to inherit his father’s shoe factory. Charlie is soon to discover that his father has been masking a failing business for years and Charlie has no choice but to close the factory and give the long-serving workers their notice. After a chance meeting in an alleyway with drag queen Lola, Charlie notices a gap in the market for high heels designed to take the weight of men and sets out to reinvent the business by making shoes for drag queens. But with only a month until the Milan fashion show where Charlie must showcase his new range if the business is to succeed, can the workers pull together and put their differences aside to make it happen?

It’s hard to believe that Kinky Boots could actually get any better but this new cast just seems to have something extra special about it and the production is flaweless. David Hunter’s portrayal of Charlie is very different to his predecessor but he really makes the role his own. His vocal style is very different to the raspy tones of Killian Donnelly but his clean strong sounds lend itself well to the songs and his harmonies with Matty Henry are beautiful. Matt Henry gets better and better every time I see him play Lola. He was born to play this role and is still giving 100% of himself to his performance a year on. Elena Skye replaces Amy Lennox as Lauren and gives a brilliant performance of the ditzy, love struck co-worker. The whole cast work seamlessly together and appear to be having a great time up on stage.

The music by 80s pop sensation Cyndi Lauper is glorious and all the leads get their chance to shine with brilliant solo numbers like Lola’s ‘Not My Fathers Son’, Charlie’s ‘Soul Of A Man’ and Lauren’s ‘The History Of Wrong Guys’. The show ends with the brilliant ensemble dance track ‘Raise You Up / Just Be’ and I would question anyone who says they are not moved to get up and dance during the song.

I really liked Kinky Boots as a show when it first opened in the West End but one year on and with this brilliant new cast, I now LOVE the show!

Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Helen Maybanks

Book to see KINKY BOOTS by 30 September and receive a free ticket upgrade!

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