Kinky Boots: was it a drag?*

Kinky Boots: was it a drag?*

Okay, so I know I’ve seen Kinky Boots before. I’ve even spoken about it in passing in a separate post. However, I loved it the first time, and I got invited to the Hippodrome press night of the touring production*. Therefore, I could not turn down the chance to see if the touring production is just as good.

What is Kinky Boots?

I actually described it in the afformentioned post, so:

In short, Kinky Boots is about a man from Northampton who has been left to take over his fathers shoe factory that’s slowly going out of business.  After an unexpected run in with a drag queen, he realises he may have a market in heeled boots for men, so him and the drag queen go into business. 

thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk/2018/10/im-a-west-end-girl-ad

There’s music, tonnes of choreography and some pretty great drag, and it’s bound to leave a smile on your face.

Touring vs West End

A still from the UK tour of Kinky Boots

Like I said, I saw it on the West End a few years ago, so I couldn’t help but compare at least a little bit. Both productions retain the feel good attitude and obviously they have the same costumes and songs etc, but therewas one main difference that I noticed…

The children?!

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the production but I swear there were children in the opening song?! Last time I saw it (and on the soundtrack) it starts with him talking to his child son? And then at some point there’s also a child version of Simon? But there were no children in this production! It started with the father talking to his full grown son.

The song still worked, and the song was still good. However, I feel like there’s just an added level of context and the song/musical makes a little more sense with the children. I understand that it was probably a logistical thing – it’s not worth taking children on tour for literally one number if it can be done without them – but I have to say, I prefer it with the children featuring.

The Songs

By the intervan, I realised that all the songs I remembered/have downloaded feature in the first act. So, the songs in the second act were more of a surprise for me than I thought. The whole soundtrack is really upbeat and feel good, featuring some killer dance tracks, all from the mind of Cyndi Lauper. It was great to watch it again and realise that my favourites still stand, but a couple of new ones have been added…

A still from the UK tour of Kinky Boots

The Land of Lola

This has been one of my favourite sassy musical theatre songs since I saw the production two years ago. I listen to it at the gym all the time and I wish I could be one of the angels. Kayi Ushe also really embodied Lola –Ahhh the attitude. I loved it.

The History of Wrong Guys

I actually really like this song… It’s goofy and cute and oh boy is it relatable. However, I must admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this version. It wasn’t down to the actress – she was a good singer and she sure did commit. However, I feel like it was just a bit too goofy for me? Like, the song is already so funny on it’s own, I feel like it’s quite easy to overdo, and this was a little overdone for my taste.

What a Woman Wants

Like I said, I completely forgot the songs in Act 2, and honestly I don’t know how! Act 2 has some of the best songs, and What a Woman Wants is one of them. I love the dance beat, I love how sassy it is… Basically, I come to this musical for sass and fun.

Soul of a Man

This song really surprised me. I realised that a lot of the shows I love don’t feature any strong male ballads, but I have to say, I’m a fan of a good male ballad and Soul of a Man is a great male ballad. Also, this was by far Joel Harper-Jackson’s best song in the show.

The Cast

I’m going to go into my favourite actors in a second, but one thing I have to say is that this cast can dance. The ensemble of Kinky Boots are so talented, especially the angels! I think the dancing is part of what makes the show so uplifting, and I am so in love with the choreography.

Helen Ternent

A still from the UK tour of Kinky Boots

Nicola isn’t exactly the biggest part. Like she has dialogue and some singing, but she isn’t the primary girl. However, she sure did stand out. From her few lines in the opening song, you could tell she was one of the strongest singers in the cast. I don’t like Nicola as a character (I don’t think you’re supposed to? She’s kind of the villain… Although to be honest she’s far more villainous in the movie than she is in the musical.) However, I found myself waiting for Ternent to come back on stage, because there was something about her stage presence that I was drawn to. She may have been my favourite actor in the production.

Joel Harper-Jackson

I liked him as Charlie – I thought that acting wise he completely embodied the character. However, I won’t lie, I found myself a bit confused when he sang. I feel like his accent very often slipped into an American accent instead of a Northhapton one, especially during the faster songs. However, he more than redeemed himself through both his acting and his rendition of Soul of a Man.

Kayi Ushe

I’ll be honest – I felt like Land of Lola, as much as I love it, didn’t have the strongest start. Therefore, I was a little worried about how Ushe would fair as Lola. However, I had no reason to be worried at all. Ushe was the perfect Lola, especially when it came to the acting. Each action was meaningful, the voice was spot on, and he was so fun to watch. I could have watched Ushe do the role again and again.

The FASHION.

A still from the UK tour of Kinky Boots

I actually got to go backstage at this performance, which was really new and exciting for me (Video coming soon! Many videos coming soon! Make sure you’re subscribed!) So, I got to see the outfits up close and personal and they are so impressive. Everything is vibrant and colourful, and the show is so aesthetically pleasing. The costume designer did the most amazing job.

Final words…

It’s the perfect show to go and see if you want to smile! It challenges important issues of acceptance whilst also being fabulous and a little raunchy and making you laugh.

If you want to see the tour, they are touring all over the UK until November so check out their website and find a location for yourself! And if you’re in Bristol, it’s here until the 9th March so get booking!

Have you seen Kinky Boots? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

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This post is not sponsored. However, I was invited to the press night, which involved receiving a complimentary ticket to watch this performance.  This does not affect the integrity of my review in any way though.  If you would like to read more about my work with brands, you can do so here.

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