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Published on April 4th, 2019 | by voxx

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Why Kinky Boots Works

For those who don’t already know, Kinky Boots is a stage musical based on the movie of the same name. It was adapted into a musical in 2012 for the West End, and is now touring the UK after finishing in London, and I’ve been lucky enough to have seen it three times. I just can’t get enough of it, but why could that be? I suppose to understand why this masterpiece works you have to first look at the industry as a whole.

I have a heavy appreciation for this art form; the atmosphere, the music in most cases, the ideas and the creativity they bring to life in a performance, making it more personal. And of course, it can also be very fun. It’s not all great, as prices can be ridiculously expensive, and if you’re not impressed they can seem to drag on and on and on. What I like most is compelling story with a few fun aspects thrown in more often than not. I loved Wicked – as most do – however I did prefer the first act as this was the one that created the atmospheric world and the likeable characters. While it’s all brilliant, when the tone changes in the second half it suddenly feels drastically different, and in certain cases disjointed. But at least it makes sense, unlike in some other musicals where a tonal shift falls flat on its face. Kinky Boots too manages to avoid this fate, which is one of the reasons it is so good.

For starters, Kinky Boots has a very consistent tone that is fun, full of energy and gets across a very important message of acceptance, more than shows like ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ ever could, without flashing it in your face. The story follows a man known as Charley Price, who is facing the bankruptcy of his factory after the passing of his father. With no options and left by fate, he meets a man by the name of Lola, a cross-dresser with her army of drag queens who has an idea to direct his factory towards his niche market in order to save it. What follows is the ups and downs of friendships, relationships, acceptance, loss, and of course a lot of laughs and comedy gold. The story flows well and everything is perfectly timed. When it’s fun you smile and laugh, and when it’s serious it can hit you hard, but what I find most impressive is that everything is just right; no pandering or sections forcing a song, with everything that happens happening for a great reason that always has me on the edge of my seat.

The music itself is so catchy it might as well be in the Disney charts. Then again, having Cyndi Lauper on the soundtrack certainly helps. There is seriously not one song I do not like or respect in some way, which is baffling. Normally I could list my favourite songs, but in this case that would be like picking a favourite child – you just don’t do it. And my God, the performers for every show are perfect too. I have the utmost respect for them and really thank them for the experiences they provide, as well as everyone else who made it possible.

If you haven’t seen this show yet, then really, what are you waiting for? The cast members are such lovely people, the music is unbelievably catchy, the story is funny and yet poignant, and more relevant now than ever, and of course, it’s just perfect. Anyone who knows me knows I can usually nitpick and tear media apart for even small things, *cough, Ebony, cough*, but what’s the point when it’s Kinky Boots. Just watch for yourself and you’ll see why it’s my favourite musical.

- By Samuel Wood


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