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Kinky Boots at Birmingham Hippodrome

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by dpm (subscribe)
dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Event: -
High-heeled drama
Based on the film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of an ailing shoe factory in Northampton. After a chance meeting with drag artist Lola, the owner Charlie hits on the perfect solution to the company's financial troubles they'll manufacture kinky boots, women's shoes for men.

kinky boots
Kinky Boots


While ostensibly about a shoe factory, the show is really about friendship, loyalty, acceptance, tolerance and understanding as the worlds of the shop floor and drag artists come together. The production, which has won a host of awards and is currently at Birmingham Hippodrome as part of its first UK tour, brings together some real heavyweights of entertainment. The book was written by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein, whose previous hits include Torch Song Trilogy and La Cage aux Folles, and the music was created by pop star and songwriter Cyndi Lauper.

Dominating the show is Kayi Ushe as Lola. Towering over the rest of the cast, he's sassy, sexy and super-confident when he takes on the role of Lola plus he has by far some of the best songs with 'Land of Lola' and 'Sex is in the Heel'. But on the day he steps into the factory in a suit and without his hair and make-up, we see another side to the man Simon. Sharing tales of his father with Charlie, he also shares his vulnerability and desire to be loved and accepted for who he is.

Kayi Ushe as Lola
Kayi Ushe as Lola


Joel Harper- Jackson certainly gives it his all in an energy-laden performance as Charlie, who reluctantly inherits the business from his father and then proves to be its unlikely saviour. Paula Lane, best known for playing Kylie Platt in Coronation Street, brings plenty of humour to the role of Lauren, the factory worker who falls for Charlie.

There are also some great supporting characters with Demitri Lampra playing Don, who initially despises Lola but eventually sees beyond the dresses and high heels to the human being within and Adam Price as factory foreman George.

Kinky Boots is a dream job for costume designer Gregg Barnes who really goes to town with the bling and the sparkle while David Rockwell's sets take us into the factory but also create some attention-grabbing moments such as the cast performing 'Everybody Say Yeah' while dancing on conveyor belts.

Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots is a feel-good musical which encourages us to accept each other despite our differences and six-inch heels!
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Why? High heeled drama
When: Until 23 March
Phone: 0844 338 5000
Where: Birmingham Hippodrome
Cost: From 26
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