Kinky Boots at Milton Keynes Theatre (atgtickets.com)


 

           I
t is extremely rare to meet the
inspiration for a musical – or even a film – but on a damp Tuesday evening in November,
Steve Pateman, the man whose troubles, and successes, were the motivation
behind Kinky Boots was in Milton Keynes in full boot regalia!  However, his personal story has been eclipsed
by that of the hero, Charlie Price, in the 2005 film Kinky Boots and the musical
of the same name launched in the States in 2012.

         
Kinky boots is an uplifting tale of
adversity overcome through hardwork, persistence, generosity and luck. Charlie had
tried to escape provincial shoe manufacturing Northampton and his father’s
factory - Price and Son - to make a new life with his domineering, ambitious girl
in London. His kind gesture to intervene in the assault of Lola, a drag queen, -
where poor Charlie came off badly – led to his fascination with her flimsy
shoes and Charlie proceeds – after much soul searching and design failure - to
produce niche market stiletto boots fit for ‘ladies, gentlemen and those yet to
decide’ and for man- size feet in the world of drag queens. He is a success.

Although the musical is based
on Charlie (Joel Harper- Jackson) the musical’s star is Lola, the drag queen,
played flawlessly by Kayi Ushe. Both characters are believable. Lola is complex
– tough when in the role of Lola, yet vulnerable as Simon. Charlie and Lola
have an unlikely relationship – provincial boy and stage entertainer – but it
is Charlie who is changed most by their relationship, growing into manhood
helped, in part, by the love and respect of Lola.

Kayi Ushe as Lola,The Queen of Drag
is feisty and charismatic on stage and has a powerful voice. Yet Ushe, despite
his size and loudness, rarely dominates, but blends in with the ensemble. Lola
partners beautifully with Charlie in Not
My Father’s Son
and another notable moment is the tango to What a Woman Wants with Don (Demitri
Lampra) and Pat (Lizzie Bea), where Ushe is in control. Both Lola and her all
male Angels are wonderful dancers - their timing is perfect, their energy indefatigable
and all is done in the highest of heels. Jerry Mitchell must be commended for
his wonderful choreography – especially the conveyor belt scene.


The music and lyrics for
Kinky Boots are by Cyndi Lauper , but regrettably there are no really memorable, catchy
tunes ; the musical is based on the book by Harvey Fierstein and film by Geoff
Diane and Tim Firth.  The result is a
sassy, sexy show, full of fun and frolics. The message – apart from high heels
are sex – is that community and family are important, as is the acceptance of
those who are ‘different’.


Kinky Boots is definitely worth
a viewing; it is optimism and escapism par excellence.

            


Kinky Boots is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 9th
November


www.atgtickets.com

0844 871 7652

Booking fee applies