Kinky Boots review: Life-affirming fabulous fun at Manchester Opera House

The cast of Kinky Boots playing at Manchester Opera House

The cast of Kinky Boots playing at Manchester Opera House

 

Irrepressible, good-humoured and absolutely fabulous, the Kinky Boots musical is in town and it’s taking no intolerant prisoners.

Filled with glitter, one-liners and an irreverently naughty sense of humour, the production takes two very different worlds and puts them together for a fiercely up-to-date moral commentary on sexuality, life-choices, gender and tolerance with a side plate of absolute glee.

The story itself focuses on second-generation shoemaker Charlie’s determination to make his recently inherited old-fashioned and failing Northampton factory profitable by creating ‘man-proof’ boots for his accidental new friend, drag queen Lola.

Their relationship is at the heart of this, both haunted by the choices of their respective fathers, they work together to design boots to showcase in Milan – working through the issues of ignorance in the factory.
Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie in Kinky Boots

Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie in Kinky Boots

There are lows, but mainly highs in the story as the cast, headed up by the magnificent talents of the chameleon actor/singer Callum Francis as Lola and Joel Harper as Charlie, schools the audience on a life-affirming journey of morality, delivered with fabulous sarcasm and mic-dropping put-downs.

From when Lola discusses her father, ‘He wouldn’t talk to me. Even when he got lung cancer. So it’s ironic, really. Fags got him in the end.’

To the colour of Charlie’s newly designed boots. ‘Burgundy. Please, God, tell me I have not inspired something burgundy. Red! Is the colour of sex! Burgundy is the colour of hot water bottles!’

The audience hoots and screams with laughter and cannot wait to get up and dance, it’s the sort of show that send you out on a high that lasts for days.

A special mention for Paula Lane as Lauren.
Known for her turn as Kylie Platt in Coronation Street, she exhibits a fabulous comedic streak as unlucky-in-love Lauren and pulls off a difficult singing role brilliantly.

It plays until Saturday December 1 at Manchester Opera House

Callum Francis as Lola in Kinky Boots

Callum Francis as Lola in Kinky Boots

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