The big show at the biggest theatre this year is the Kinky Boots musical. Winning every musical theatre award they will be in residence in Edinburgh until January 5th next year. You may recall the movie which was based in a true story? Well the stage version was written by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein and the songs are all by the amazing Cyndi Lauper so how can this lose? At the Adelphi Theatre in the West End this show has won three Olivier Awards, the London Evening Standard BBC radio 2 Audience Award and three WhatsOnStage Awards so now we have the UK tour.
The show follows fall and rise of Price & Son, a shoe company in Northampton as inherited by Charlie Price played by Joel Harper-Jackson. As the company faces bankruptcy in comes Lola (Kayl Ushe) who transforms the fortunes when they start to manufacture stiletto heel boots for men cross dressers. Although the story surrounds Charlie the show becomes a vehicle for Lola with some great lines and big show songs.
The set is quite stunning transforming exteriors to the moving machinery in the shoe factory and from offices to catwalk and nightclub. UK choreography by Darren Carnall is quite excellent with moving conveyor belts and the drag queens sequence all performed with impossible heels for authenticity. Charlie Allen was the understudy for Nicola’s part and proved an inspired choice for the part. Hats off to Lola though with a varied songbook from ballad to big show songs handled with apparent ease. By the time the Milan catwalk show came on the full house audience were on their feet to a fully original soundtrack by Cyndi Lauper when it would have so easy to include some of her own hits they were clearly not needed.
The fast moving show has its sub plots too with Charlie clashing with his girlfriend as they moved to London plus Lola and the tussle with sexist Don (Played by Demitri Lampra) to the degree of a boxing match as an aside. This could have been unnecessary but the diversion was brilliant with song and vision away from the main story. ‘You can change the world when you change your mind’ is the moral to take home and surrounding this a wonderful family night out.
Edinburgh Playhouse till Jan 5