THEATRE REVIEW: Kinky Boots starring Killian Donnelly & Matt Henry

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE: Adelphi Theatre

WHEN: 4/11 (matinee), running to 28/5/16

We saw the first Kinky Boots London preview in August, it opened in September to near universal 4* reviews and we decided to return on a matinee in November to give it our full critical appreciation.

Kinky Boots is based on the true story of an under-threat Northampton shoe factory finding a drag queen niche market and securing its future in the process.

When we first saw it in August our main reservation was the time taken to pick up the pace in the second half although this seems to have been remedied now.

We also worried that Matt Henry, a runner-up in TV’s The Voice, would struggle to fill the shoes of his Tony award-winning counterpart from the US, Billy Porter but we’re delighted to report that he’s relaxed into this role.

Highlight of the show for us is the Cyndi Lauper-penned History Of Wrong Guys, performed brilliantly by Amy Lennox, which is a comic gem as factory employee Lauren reveals she’s fallen for new factory boss Charlie (Killian Donnelly in a tricky role which requires him to disappoint before achieving the audience’s aspirations for him).

The drag queen chorus are a dynamic back-up to Henry, pulling surprise splits and stomping about the stage fiercely in flashes of colour.

The story created by Harvey Fierstein is so much stronger than the film on which it is based and ultimately it is this heart at the centre of the show – about acceptance and forgiveness – that brings the whole thing to the boil. The West End’s best new musical of the year.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy of Kinky Boots. Tickets for Kinky Boots available here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author Neil Durham on Twitter @NeilDurham

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