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Kinky Boots, Birmingham Hippodrome - review with pictures

By Kirsten Rawlins | Birmingham | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Sparkly, sassy and spectacularly stunning: Kinky Boots is a stupendous must-see musical packed with humour, a heart-warming storyline and heaps of talent.

Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks

The show, based on a true story, tells the tale of a men’s shoe factory in Northampton which faced going out of business until they discovered a gap in the market: sturdy, attractive shoes for drag queens.

Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks
Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks

It’s a tale of emotional loss and gain, friendship and comradery, love and passion - and the team behind Kinky Boots currently running at Birmingham Hippodrome do a phenomenal job of portraying it all.

Star of the show was undoubtedly the larger-than-life Lola, played by Kayi Ushe, whose flamboyant manner and diction was reminiscent of the beloved Tim Curry, while his vocals left the audience totally stunned, with outstanding strength, range and projection.

Kayi Ushe as Lola in Kinky Boots. Photo Helen Maybanks
Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks

Kayi’s voice stood out in particular on solo number Hold Me In Your Heart, which had the audience sat in absolute silence, gripped by his spine-tingling, powerful rendition.

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The West End star’s exceptional talent and warm presence made the crowd fall in love with the character from the get-go - and this feeling remained for the entirety of the play.

The cast of Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks

Playing the part of factory owner Charlie Price was Joel Harper-Jackson, who took on the role of the son desperate to save his father’s legacy and the workers’ jobs very well, with great acting and good vocals.

The show’s music, written by pop and culture icon Cyndi Lauper, was performed brilliantly from start to end, with faultless choreography and a stunning array of wild and wonderful glistening outfits and shoes.

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Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks

Scenes in the show were also put together incredibly well, from a highly-effective slow-motion boxing match, to a striking catwalk in Milan.

I am usually very wary of musicals, often finding them to be a little cheap and cheesy - but this was truly anything but. Instead, this was an incredibly moving show, with laugh-out-loud moments of comedy, rousing musical numbers, and an honest depiction of how the world often struggles to accept those who are different.

The cast of Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks
The cast of Kinky Boots. Picture Helen Maybanks

Ladies, gentlemen and those who have yet to make up their minds: go see Kinky Boots, you won’t regret it.

Runs until March 23.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. E-mail me kirsten.rawlins@expressandstar.co.uk, or phone 01902 319368

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