Kinky Boots at the Liverpool Empire Review

27 March to 6 April 2019

632

Reviewed by Melanie Allen

Finally, I get to see this feel good musical without having to travel all the way to the West End of London. This is the first time that the Tony award-winning theatrical performance has toured the UK and next week the curtain will fall for the last time on Broadway after an immensely successful 5-year stint.

Based on a true story and made into a film of the same name, Kinky Boots kicks off (no pun intended) in Northampton, where the owner of a fledgling family run shoe making business dies. His son, straight laced Charlie Price (played brilliantly by Joel Harper-Jackson) inherits the factory, but initially he isn’t interested in shoes and has no desire to keep the factory alive. He has just moved to London with his girlfriend and has no passion for shoes like his father did. But when he meets Transvestite ‘Lola’ (Kaye Ushe) in a chance encounter whilst trying to save her in a pub brawl, his outlook on life totally changes. He realises that the workers at the factory deserve a second chance. Instead of producing shoes, Lola persuades Charlie to fill a gap in the market and to make a range of strong ladies’ boots for men instead. And that’s where the fun begins…

The final act culminates in everyone coming together in Milan to showcase the new thigh length boots. Charlie falls modelling them himself and is rescued by Lola and the Angels who save the day and the factory. Although not well known or famous just yet, the songs (music and lyrics written by Cyndi Lauper) were catchy and memorable, the audience particularly loving ‘Raise you up/Just be’ and ‘Everybody say Yeah’. All the actor’s voices were loud, clear and in tune, which is quite rare these days.

This musical’s moral story is all about kindness and the acceptance of others. It’s also about diversity, inclusion and freedom of expression. Demitri Lampra who plays male chauvinist factory worker ‘Don’, clashes with Lola when she first enters the factory but over time and a boxing match later, he learns to overcome his prejudice and becomes a better person, teaching him that everyone can be what they want to be no matter what other people think.

It reminded me a bit of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at times, so if you love that, you will love this! For a new kid on the block, this modern-day musical makes you realise, that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Rating: 4/5

Tickets cost from £13 to £76.50 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).

Kinky Boots is at the Liverpool Empire from 27 March to 6 April 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool or call the box office on 0844 8713017.

Liverpool Empire, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017

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