Kinky boots at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Strap on your thigh highs, Glasgow!  Kinky boots are strutting into town for two weeks!

Kinky Boots is one of those musicals that grabs you from the first note and doesn’t let go until the band take their well-deserved final applause!  It has all the elements that you would associate with a well presented musical … but somehow manages to break some rules and spring a few surprises. There is a nice score, some uplifting chorus numbers, a funny script and a very strong story.  But the love story is unconventional, the first act does NOT end on a cliffhanger and the leading lady is a man!

Loosely based on real life events, the story centers around Charlie (Joel Harper-Jackson); the reluctant heir to a Northampton shoe factory.  Following his father’s death, it becomes clear that the factory’s long history could end in swift financial ruin.  While searching for a solution that will save the livelihoods of a generation of friends and family, he finds inspiration in the unlikely form of Lola (Kayi Ushe); the outrageously talented lead singer in a high kicking drag act.  Together they form a partnership that influences the perceptions and actions of everyone around them.

The stage is dressed in a wonderfully atmospheric set from David Rockwell. The split level factory is swiftly rearranged to accommodate production and dance moves with ease.  Portions of the set are then seamlessly transformed into partial backdrops and props for scenes in London and beyond.  Lighting is a strong contributor to that atmosphere and the audience is transported to a dusty factory floor in Northampton in a blink.

The original score and Lyrics from Cyndi Lauper really drive the story forward and provide character expansion opportunities as we come to understand how Lola and Charlie became the men they are today. Ticket holders expecting a brace of 80s punk-pop hits will be disappointed – this is a good musical score.  Direction by Jerry Mitchell was pacy and exciting with some inspired comic timing.  Mr Mitchell’s choreography leaves the audience gaping as the cast run, flip and dance over and around the factory production line – a real show highlight.

Performances onstage were exceptional.  Joel Harper-Jackson gave a sympathetic and finely balanced performance as Charlie Price.  We watched as this reluctant heir grew to love his father’s factory and eventually become obsessed with it.  Powerful and moving scenes developed as that passion bubbled over and these were matched only by his incredible vocal performance. As Lola, Kayi Ushe was an irresistible force.  Effervescent in personality and yet vulnerable in many ways, Lola won the audience over in seconds and that star performance held us mesmerized throughout the show.  Lola had us in stitches of laughter at one moment and close to tears the next.

If you ever think to yourself that “all musicals are the same” – treat yourself to a sexy pair of red Kinky boots and challenge those perceptions!  Don’t miss this fabulous show.

KING’S THEATRE , GLASGOW
Tue 7 – Sat 19 May 2019 
Mon – Thu & Sat eves
7.30pm
Fridays 5pm & 8.30pm
Sat mats 2.30pm
Tickets: £19.50 - £66.00
www.ambassadortickets.com/glasgow  (bkg fee)