Kinky Boots Bristol Hippodrome Review

Kinky Boots Review Bristol Hippodrome:

It’s a very British story and one which will be well received by the diverse and liberated nature of Bristol. One man who took over his deceased father’s failing business, went on to save a shoe factory by switching the production of traditional men’s shoes to footwear for drag queens.

In line with some of the best musicals, it has more than a grain of truth in its inception. It’s based on a BBC Trouble at the Top documentary which went on to become a hit movie. With that in mind and story-wise, it feels a bit like a second cousin twice removed to hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Kinky Boots UK Tour

The lack of stunt casting for this tour is a joy and what a cast it is. Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie Price, did an incredible performance of song Soul of a Man in Act Two.

It’s the first time I’ve seen Kinky Boots and I admit I had some trouble with the character of Charlie in the second half. Perhaps it was Harper-Jackson’s brilliant acting, but I felt his stressed, angry outburst and vitriolic attack on Lola’s gender identity and clothing was deeply ingrained. For me, it was too far to come back from at the end.

Whilst being a drag queen and being transgender are two different identities, the issues raised in the show through the voices of the Northampton factory workers are pertinent.

Being transgender and using a toilet was one of the biggest online rows of 2018, so I wanted to punch the air when the show featured bickering and bullying about which toilet Lola should use.

Kinky Boots Lola Bristol

Kayi Ushe was fabulous as Lola. There was a huge range between the persona of his drag queen to the uncertain and vulnerable young man he was underneath.

I think it takes a unique talent to pull off drag in real life, so I thought the acting and dancing from: Connor Collins, John J. Dempsey, Damon Gould, Joshua Lovell, Chileshé Mondelle, Toyan Thomas-Browne as the Angels was outstanding.

Kinky Boots Bristol Hippodrome Review

I also think it’s quite hard to get a comic character right in musical theatre, especially when it’s a woman and there’s a Love Thing going on. Paula Lane as Lauren was genuinely warm and funny in The History of Wrong Guys, which was also the best song in the show.

It won’t be a popular comment I’m sure, but I wasn’t a fan of the music. They weren’t songs I will go away singing. They weren’t bad songs and the overall production was more than strong enough to live through it. Its standing ovation at the end was more than deserved.

But it’s a great family show featuring key themes bullying, being different, individuality, changing how you see people, perseverance, respect and love.

It’s on at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 09 March 2019.

Kinky Boots acknowledges difficult issues without minimising, is well written with a brilliant cast and fabulous shoes. This show is totally Red.

To book, visit: atgtickets.com/Bristol

For more information about the musical and tour: www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk/

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