Kinky Boots – Bristol Hippodrome REVIEW

Powerful and punchy from the first note to the final bow, Kinky Boots has been strutting its stuff at Bristol Hippodrome and you won’t be able to help but take notice.

Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots follows the story of Charlie (Joel Harper-Jackson) as he tries to live his late father’s dream to conquer the shoe industry. However, when he stumbles across Lola (Kayi Ushe) and the Angels, he decides to chase his dream in a very different way.

Kinky Boots cast_Photo Helen Maybanks

Joel and Kayi’s chemistry on stage is undeniable, whether they are strutting round six inches taller or confiding to each other in moments of vulnerability. Their connection is nurtured, cherished and creates a strong basis for the plot.

The ensemble and troop of ‘Angels’ supporting them are all as strong as each other. With a gorgeous uniform sound and brilliant choreography they are one of the strong ensembles I have seen.

Joel Harper-Jackson (Charlie) Paula Lane (Lauren) and Kayi Ushe (Lola) in Kinky Boots_Photo Helen Maybanks

The attention to detail in the design element was meticulous, with some thoughtful lighting and scenery. I did feel like they were slightly crowded by the set and they could have done with a little more space for the larger than life dances moves. Every drag queen needs space to strut!

80s pop icon Cyndi Lauper has put together a cracking soundtrack with some really catchy songs. There are a good range with some sassy numbers such as “Sex Is In The Heel” and “Everybody Say Yeah” which balanced with the moving songs between Charlie and Lola and kept the pace at a good tempo.

Kinky Boots cast_Photo Helen Maybanks_1

I thought that the first half finale was incredible with the entire cast spinning, strutting and sliding about the stage in a one of a kind conveyor belt number. It took the audience in the interval on a high and didn’t drop in energy for a minute during the second half. It crescendoed with an incredible finale that is simply too good for words.

Joel Harper-Jackson (Charlie) in Kinky Boots_Photo Helen Maybanks_1MB

With the drag world on the rise with the likes of RuPaul as well as shows such as La Cage Aux Folles and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Kinky Boots is another drag giants that struts amongst the greats.

As said in the production… “Ladies and Gentlemen… and those who are yet to make up their minds”… this may be the shows first UK tour, but it’s just as full of glitz, glam, sass, power and poignancy as the West End production. No expense (or glitter) spared!

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