Kinky Boots at the Blackpool Opera House Review

1-12 October 2019

159

Reviewed by Catherine Joyce

Last night we travelled to Blackpool to see the hit musical “Kinky Boots”. With songs by Cyndi Lauper we were looking forward to a fun night out. The show is on at the world famous Opera House, a grand old building that can seat thousands and has a massive stage area. The theatre was packed and there was an amazing atmosphere once the musical began.

Kinky Boots is based on the 2005 film of the same name, the musical is based on a true story about a family shoe business owned by Mr Price. His son, Charlie is in line to be the fourth generation to run the factory, Price & Son. The only problem is, he has no interest in running the company and so leaves the hum-drum of Northampton behind to start a career with his fiancée in vibrant and bustling London.

Not long after arriving in the capital his father dies and so he returns, only to discover that the business his father was so proud of is facing bankruptcy. Faced with making staff, who has known for years redundant, one of the employees, Lauren (played by Paula Lane) comes up with the idea that if they can discover a niche market they can turn the company’s fortunes around. A chance encounter in London sees Charlie meeting drag queen Lola and seeing that the heel of her boot is damaged he offers to mend it and a very unlikely alliance is formed. Lola finally agrees to design boots for Charlie and they head to Milan for a very important fashion show which will hopefully save the business.

The scenery is fairly simple and does a great job of placing us into the story. Mostly set in the factory but also depicting the catwalks of Milan and a boxing ring, I especially liked how the conveyors were used during one of the dance numbers adding plenty of movement to the already lively act.

Costumes were an especially important part of the show, whilst the factory workers were just wearing jeans and t-shirts the drag queens were decked out in a dazzling display of glittery and glamorous outfits and some simply amazing footwear.

Kayi Ushe was outstanding as Lola, she had the audience captivated from the minute she walked on stage. Her performance, backed up by her angels, was definitely the highlight of the show.

Cyndi Lauper’s songs do a great job of telling the story, there was a good balance between the dialogue and songs and I especially liked “Sex is in the Heel” and “Not My Father’s Son”. The musical covered a number of themes including family relationships, loyalty and prejudice. We particularly liked the extra dimension that was added when Lola had to defend herself from the narrow minded views of some of the factory workers.

The Milan catwalk finale is full of amazing outfits, including an impressive Union Jack dress although it has to be said that the boots stole the show! The show ended with a very well deserved standing ovation from the whole audience. The show is full of colour and laughter and every single person leaving the theatre was saying how much they had enjoyed the show.

It is at Blackpool until the 12th October and we would certainly recommend that you go and see it whilst it is there.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £17.50 (booking fees may apply).

Kinky Boots is at the Blackpool Opera House from 1-12 October 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk or call the box office on 0844 856 1111.

Winter Gardens & Opera House Theatre, 97 Church Street, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 1HL

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