Kinky Boots the Musical at MK Theatre – 29/10/19
Having seen the film Kinky Boots, I was very excited to go and see the musical that has arrived in Milton Keynes for the next couple of weeks.
Based on the true story of WJ Brookes, the musical follows the trials and tribulations of Charlie Price, a Northampton shoemaker, who has inherited a failing shoe factory from his father. To turn things around and stop the building being sold to property developers, Charlie decides that his company needs a niche market. Enter Lola! If you’ve seen the film, then you’ll know the casting of the character Lola is quite pivotal to the story, and the casting of Kayi Ushe as Lola in this stage version is perfect!
Lola is a drag queen that always has problems with the heel snapping on her (his) boots. Charlie sees this need and decides to do something about it. The audience is taken through the journey of Charlie’s up and downs as he produces ‘ladies footwear for men’.
Sometimes when a film is adapted for the stage it can cut out a lot of the detail and songs can be inserted for the sake of it – not necessarily adding anything. I don’t feel this was the case with Kinky Boots. The songs added to the story and engaged the audience with the mood of the scene, whether that be happy, sad or comical.
Giving the audience the complete immersive experience was the set. A backdrop of a shoe factory but with a central rotating ‘room’ that with a quick spin, transformed the stage to a bar, storeroom, a boxing ring or Lola’s stage. All very clever and allowed the action to flow effortlessly from one scene to the next.
On page 15 of the November Phonebox we spoke to Joel-Harper Jackson who plays Charlie. He said his favourite part is the big finale. Whilst watching it, you can really understand why he would say that as it was such a feel-good moment – and as he mentions, the audience really did go wild.
Kinky Boots is on at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 9th November.
Tickets available from https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/kinky-boots/milton-keynes-theatre. I’d be quick though, as this is going to be a popular one.