Brett Herriot Review

Kinky Boots, Edinburgh Playhouse, Review

Kinky Boots, Edinburgh Playhouse, 

***** 5 Stars

speaks to the humanity in all of us and asks the important question what does, it take to accept those are different from oneself”

Based on the 2005 British film Kinky Boots, and inspired by true events, the musical tells the story of Charlie Price. Having inherited a shoe factory from his father, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save the business. In the process, Charlie and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.

With a Book by the legendary Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper this critically acclaimed musical made its debut in 2012 and has enjoyed ongoing lengthy runs on both Broadway and the West End and now its Scotland’s turn to get kinky and what a treat it is.

This musical speaks to the humanity in all of us and asks the important question what does it take to accept those are different from oneself, with in that lies both the crux and the sheer joy of this production. Just being who you want to be is sparkling moment of reality imbued in this heartfelt and honest production directed by musical theatre giant Jerry Mitchell.

In the role of “Lola” is the excellent Kayi Ushe who has brought forward his debut in the role and delivers a performance filled with comedy joy de Vere and emotional depth that sweeps the audience along with its charm and grace. Cast against Joel Harper-Jackson’s “Charlie Price” it’s  a dream team. Jackson has brought a very special take on the character that allows the audience to understand and feel his frustration, sadness , hope and ultimate joy of finding his place in the world and its privilege to see him perform the role.

All the glitz and glamour of the west production has been brought to Edinburgh’s magnificent Playhouse with Gregg Barnes Costume Design sparkling under Kenneth Posner’s Lighting Design. The scenic design by David Rockwell has taken the best of the west end production and made it suitable to go on the road without if feeling small or less that the original production.

Costume, make-up and hair is especially on show with Lola’s “Angels” the drag queens at the heart of the show, and it’s the drive to get across that being different is no bad thing. Its most striking during the performance of the song “Not my father’s son” a heart rending and honest lyric from Cyndi Lauper that speaks of the pain and hurt of not being accepted for who and what we are.

Kinky Boots should be applauded for using the art of musical theatre to put the message of acceptance at its fore front, set amongst the joy an excellent night in the theatre is a truth that will live with you long after the curtain falls and for that alone makes this a production truly worthy of 5 stars.

For the ultimate Christmas treat, steal, beg or borrow a ticket for a couple of hours in the company of Lola, her angels, Charlie price and the staff of Price and sons as this is a journey you won’t forget. Pure west end magic has arrived in Edinburgh this Christmas and it wont leave you disappointed.

Kinky Boots, Edinburgh Playhouse,  Runs Until Saturday 5th January 2019, For tickets go to: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/kinky-boots/edinburgh-playhouse/

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