Review | Kinky Boots at the Regent Theatre

Multi-award winning Kinky Boots puts its best foot forward as it struts from the West End straight into Stoke-on-Trent as it starts its UK tour.

The latest in a line of great British films to transition from screen to stage, ‘Kinky Boots’ does so with an energy and attitude to match any musical. The excellent writing and choreography, along with music and lyrics from pop icon Cyndi Lauper, all combine to deliver a moving, energetic and uplifting experience that will stay with audiences long after the final curtain falls. 

Based on true events, ‘Kinky Boots’ starts in a Northampton shoe factory and follows the story of Charlie Price (Joel Harper-Jackson), who is thrust into taking forward the family business whilst living up to his father’s expectations. In an all too current trend, business is on the decline and an encounter with drag queen Lola (Kayi Ushe) sees Charlie take an unexpected approach to turning around the fortunes of the family business. 

The story sees Charlie travel from London to the catwalks of Milan, with a few interesting, humorous and difficult stops along the way, all whilst he balances friendships, relationships and challenges his own understanding of acceptance and sexuality. 

Whilst on the surface ‘Kinky Boots’ is an outstanding musical that is big on well choreographed routines and catchy numbers, for those willing to look deeper there is much more to find, including its clever challenge of perceptions and stereotypes around masculinity. Whilst the majority of the story will have you beaming and tapping along to the music, there are darker moments at times, all of which are well written and enable the fantastic Joel Harper-Jackson and Kayi Ushe to showcase their range in what are standout performances for the pair. 

Even with the occasional grittier moment, ‘Kinky Boots’ oozes sass throughout, with plenty of saucy moments and excellent one-liners that will definitely raise a smile at least. Making the perfect stilettos was never going to be easy, but is was certainly a whole lot of fun! 

If you want a musical that has it all – love, loss, friendship and acceptance, then ‘Kinky Boots’ is certainly one to watch. 

‘Kinky Boots’ is at The Regent Theatre until Saturday 9th February. 

For tickets visit: www.atgtickets.com/shows/kinky-boots/regent-theatre/