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Canterbury: Review of Kinky Boots the musical, at the Adelphi Theatre, London and at the Marlowe Theatre in 2019

By Angela Cole

Monday night felt like a Friday night after watching Kinky Boots the musical at London's Adelphi Theatre.

You'll think of red in a completely new light, and you'll wish every Monday night could be the same, if you head to the capital to see the multi award-winning show, which has songs by pop icon Cyndi Lauper.

Celebrating its 1,000th performance of a three-year run, there was as much life and energy as there must have been on its opening night.

Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre Picture: Matt Crockett
Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre Picture: Matt Crockett

The story is about the shoe industry in Northampton and, as a Northamptonian myself, I could never enjoy the original film as I couldn't get past the accents, which weren't ones I recognised from my years there.

But that seemed irrelevant after seeing the high-kicking, feel-good musical, which has a central message at its heart of accepting someone for who they are.

Kinky Boots - in red. Picture: Matt Crockett
Kinky Boots - in red. Picture: Matt Crockett

It tells the tale of Charlie Price who, after the death of his father, is left with a loss-making shoe factory. It looks like the last pay cheques are set to be issued, until Charlie hits on an untapped niche market, thanks to larger than life drag act Lola (Simon-Anthony Rhoden) and her desire for high heels - and they must be red.

His voice, acting and sass are perfect and Lola's girls' endless energy and high kicks are phenomenal. And they have legs to die for (with or without the heels).

The songs in this show are really beautiful to listen to - and they're not all major dance numbers. They range from high-energy to emotional and just plain funny.

Kinky Boots: more than a musical about the shoe industry Picture: Matt Crockett
Kinky Boots: more than a musical about the shoe industry Picture: Matt Crockett

All the cast were strong, and the humour is brilliant: it's a fast paced rollercoaster for a story which will feel like it's over in minutes. The shoe factory set is used to the max as a venue for a range of scenes, even as a boxing ring.

The show has been playing to packed houses in London for three years and the good news is it's also set to head out on a national tour. It means you don't have to head up to town to see, provided you are patient - it's coming to the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury in January 2019.

The show will be at the theatre between Monday, January 14 and Saturday, January 26. To book, visit marlowetheatre.com or call 01227 787787.

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