REVIEW: Take a step on the wild side with Kinky Boots

The factory employers get to work making the glamorous boots.

The factory employers get to work making the glamorous boots. - Credit: Archant

‘An emotional rollercoaster’ is the best way to describe Kinky Boots, which took to the stage of the Bristol Hippodrome last night (Tuesday).

Soon the factory is busy and making profit again.

Soon the factory is busy and making profit again. - Credit: Archant

Going into the theatre, I was worried the show would take a likening to The Rocky Horror Show which wasn’t my cup of tea but boy was I wrong.

Kinky Boots had everything but the kitchen sink and I came out of the theatre feeling light and ready to take on the world as Lola would.

The story follows Charlie (Joel Harper-Jackson) who is forced to leave London to take over his father’s shoe factory, Price And Sons, in Northampton.

The factory is at risk of going bust but after a chance meeting with drag queen Lola (Kayi Ushe), Charlie and his workers are thrust into a world of glamour, sparkle and sex appeal.

Showgirl Lola rocking her new stilettos.

Showgirl Lola rocking her new stilettos. - Credit: Archant


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The performance started off quiet, slow, and dreary but this made the arrival of leading Queen Lola all the more magnificent, the stage simply lit up when this sassy man came on.

Lola’s presence is so bright, it uplifts the entire cast and boy can that man sing.

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Her renditions of Land Of Lola and Sex Is The Heel earned rambunctious applause from the audience while Hold Me In Your Heart nearly brought many members to tears with the heart-breaking tune.

Lola and her gaggle of girls stomped onto the stage and demanded the attention of everyone in the room with the tight synchronised choreography – in six inch-heeled boots no less.

The factory workers are stunned when the fabulous Lola rocks up, needing some new heels.

The factory workers are stunned when the fabulous Lola rocks up, needing some new heels. - Credit: Archant

Charlie and Lauren (Paula Lane) were a quirky and funny pairing whose relationship quietly bubbles away in the background of the show, not wanting to detract from the main story.

Coronation Street’s Lane showed there was more to her than just acting as her comical singing garnered multiple laughs from the audience.

The mobile set was ever-changing, giving the audience somewhere to look constantly.

The use of switching tables and multipurpose backing and some selective lighting would take you from inside a depressing warehouse to a nightclub in moments.

Charlie Price is struggling to continue the family business when the order for a sturdy pair of stil

Charlie Price is struggling to continue the family business when the order for a sturdy pair of stiletto's saves the day. - Credit: Archant

Everything about this show was spot-on; moving sets, brilliant dance moves, breath-taking songs and, most importantly, a really grabbing story line.

Sometimes I find it is easy to get lost in the glitz and glam, song and dance, but underneath heeled boots and quick off-the-cuff gags, was a truly remarkable story which is even more relevant in this day and age.

I was sceptical going into this show but now I am converted. The performance received one of the loudest and quickest standing ovations I have ever heard after the final song Raise You Up/Just Be which sent me away with a beaming smile and a skip in my step.

Do not miss this show for its short run, you will regret it.

Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie.

Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie. - Credit: Archant

It is at the Bristol Hippodrome, in St Augustines Parade, from today (Wednesday) to March 9 with shows at multiple times.

Tickets, starting at £19.50, are available from the Hippodrome website.

Cast members Alfie Parker, Joshua St Clair and Daniel Conway.

Cast members Alfie Parker, Joshua St Clair and Daniel Conway. - Credit: Archant

Kinky Boots will be performed in Bristol later this month.Picture: Matt Crockett

Kinky Boots will be performed in Bristol later this month.Picture: Matt Crockett - Credit: Matt Crockett

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