London Culture | Kinky Boots Review, Adelphi Theatre

London Culture | Kinky Boots Review, Adelphi Theatre

Please note: I was given tickets to Kinky Boots in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

If you’re looking for an entertaining way to kickstart a summer weekend, then a theatre outing to see the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre would most definitely tick the box. The theatre is blissfully air-conditioned (tick), the audience enthusiastic (tick) and the whole performance is charged with an energy, sparkle and sense of fun (tick) that guarantees a terrific start to a great night out.

The original Kinky Boots film was released in 2005 and has gained a dedicated cult following. Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits his father’s shoe factory in Northampton. Although successful for years, the family business is now floundering, and Charlie sees no way forward apart from closing up and selling, putting the workers he grew up with out of a job. He struggles with guilt and despair, until by chance he meets Lola, a drag queen with a problem: the high heels of regular women’s shoes cannot stand up to the weight of a man and keep snapping. Charlie decides to take a chance and cater to the niche transvestite market, developing dazzling (but sturdy!) boots inspired by Lola’s designs. How Charlie and the people of Northampton rise up to the challenge, not only of creating the boots, but also of accepting others for who they truly are, makes for a feel-good, inspiring story.

London Culture | Kinky Boots Review, Adelphi TheatreKinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre. Image source.

Fans of the Kinky Boots film will not be disappointed by the musical, as it’s very faithful to the original movie. Many of the film’s most memorable lines are cleverly incorporated into the songs and script of the musical, and the set designs brilliantly mimic the Price Shoe Factory of the movie. Kinky Boots is a smart choice for a musical adaptation: the simple, but heartfelt plot is well expressed through song, and the big dance numbers are truly outstanding when performed live with a West End cast. The music and lyrics are by Cyndi Lauper – an inspired choice, although I was a little disappointed that none of the songs quite came up to the ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ standard, but there were still many great tunes.

For me, the star of the show was Momar Diagne, who played Lola and brought impressively high levels of energy to the demanding role. From leading dance routines, to singing solo, Diagne never faltered. Moments of humour or pathos were injected into his performance by a mere flick of the wrist or slump of the shoulders. Oliver Tompsett as Charlie Price was also very strong, combining an authentic earnestness and impeccable slapstick comedy in his performance. The cast as a whole performed many spectacular singing and dancing routines, and by the end the entire audience was on their feet, clapping in time to the finale score.

London Culture | Kinky Boots Review, Adelphi TheatreKinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre. Image source.

Kinky Boots must close Janurary 2019, and as I said I think it would be a great choice as part of a celebratory night out (Hen Dos, Birthdays, Girls’ Night etc). I recommend starting your evening viewing Kinky Boots, then going on for drinks and dancing, as the impressive dance numbers will be sure to make you want to bust a move or two of your own, whether in high heels or not!

Tickets to Kinky Boots may be purchased here