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Kinky Boots
Culture Theatre and Musicals

Everybody Say Yeah: a Kinky Boots review

Kinky Boots: sexy, funny, and heartwarmingly good.

Kinky Boots had its last run on the West End in January to make way for Waitress. Luckily, the show is currently touring the UK so I managed to see it at the Bristol Hippodrome. The tour is going on until November 2019 and it may be coming to a town near you!

Kinky Boots set

What is it about?

Having inherited Price and Son shoe factory from his father, Charlie Price is forced to return from the fancy life his fiancée wants in London to take over his fathers role. Learning that the factory is failing, he tries to find a solution that doesn’t involve firing all the staff he grew up with. Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with Lola, a drag queen he meets in London, to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save the business. In the process, Charlie and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.

The book was written by Harvey Fierstein and is inspired by a true story. The music and lyrics were written by none other than Cyndi Lauper and in 2013, she became the first solo woman to win Best Original Score at the Tony’s.

What did I think?

My god, I fell in love and I fell hard. I didn’t really know what to expect from the show before going. I only listened to the soundtrack once or twice and hadn’t read up about the plot so it was a surprise. And a very welcome surprise at that. I was itching to dance through most of the songs and by the time the show was over, my cheeks hurt from smiling. The show is, in the form of a cheesy chat-up line, the perfect balance of sexy and cute. Kinky Boots has cracked my top five musicals, that’s how much I loved it.

The cast

The show was led by Kayi Ushe as Lola and Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie Price and it’s honestly incredibly difficult not to fall in love with them both. Kayi Ushe is beyond dazzling, and I’m talking about more than the sparkly dresses he adorns on stage. Firstly, I can’t even walk in heels, and Ushe makes dancing in them look so incredibly easy. His comedic timing is the cause of most of the belly laughs from the audience but as we learn more about Lola and her story, Ushe appeals to our emotions so well.

Joel Harper-Jackson plays cheeky Charlie Price so well. In fact, I even turned to my boyfriend during the interval and confessed that I was a little bit in love with him. Harper-Jackson portrays such a range of emotion in his role as Charlie. From the heartbreak of losing his dad to the excitement of finding a possible solution and then the despair of that solution possibly not working out. His character is so full of charisma, it’s hard to hate him when he reaches his breaking point towards the end of the show.

Paula Lane plays the part of Lauren. She’s a representation of every single girl who’s ever had a crush on a decent, unavailable guy. She’s relatable, real and so funny. Adam Price and Demitri Lampra take on the roles of George and Don respectively and are both hilarious and loveable in their own way. The ensemble cast also do a great job of bringing the feel of family to the show.

Also, shout-out to drag queens The Angels, who never ceased to amaze me when they were on stage.

The songs

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to listen to the soundtrack. But I can assure you that it’s now been on repeat for five days straight.

Let’s start of with Sex Is In The Heel and Everybody Say Yeah, because they were show-stoppers for me. Both are big songs with killer dancing and extravagant elements to the performance. They may not be favourites of mine to listen to on the soundtrack but with the visuals, choreography and the addition of the travelator’s in Everybody Say Yeah, they blew me away.

Both Ushe and Harper-Jackson have voices that are capable of giving you goosebumps. I’m Not My Father’s Son is the song in which they, and us as the audience, find out they have so much more in common than was originally thought. Their solo performances Soul of a Man (Harper-Jackson) and Hold You in My Heart (Ushe) both had me teetering on the edge of tears.

I can’t not mention The History of Wrong Guys which is performed by Paula Lane. The song is hilarious and really put me in Lauren’s corner. And Raise You Up / Just Be is the perfect empowerment song for a finale. It hammers home the lessons of acceptance and leaning on those you love which are hammered home throughout the show.

Step One takes the spot of my favourite performance though. Which may seem a bizarre choice considering how extravagant the other performance are, but I just love it. Harper-Jackson’s voice is so dreamy and the lyrics are so catchy. It’s been my motivation to get started on things all week. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched this performance…

I’m so desperate for a cast recording from the Kinky Boots UK tour cast!

So, would I recommend it?

As the song goes: Everybody Say Yeah! I don’t think I could recommend it enough, I’ve spent the week trying to convince Mike to go again while it’s still in Bristol, unsuccessfully. But if you’re looking for a dazzling, heartwarming evening full of great songs, jaw-dropping performances, a load of belly laughs and a bit of acceptance, then Kinky Boots is for you. If it’s strutting to a town near you, you’d be a fool not to see it.

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28 COMMENTS

  • Bill Fonda

    I originally wasn’t crazy about the idea of seeing it on Broadway when my wife brought it up, but she wanted to go because one of our favorites, Killian Donnelly, was playing Charlie.

    I was blown away, and “Step One” is also my favorite from the show. Here’s Killian singing it. https://youtu.be/DJInXNmQC58

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Sounds like my boyfriend and he ended up enjoying it a lot as well! Killian’s version is so good!

  • Abby Heird

    Wish I lived near you because I would totes make you see it a second time with me! It sounds amazing!! I mean, music by Cyndi Lauper and a great cast, gosh I wanna see it soo baaaad!!

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      I would totes go! It’s bloody phenomenal!!

  • Elayna

    Ahh I need to see this! Great review 😊

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Yes! Would highly recommend!

  • Geraldine

    I love the way you describe and word these Han! It sounds really captivating and magical and i found it funny that you considered it noteworthy they can walk in heels better than you 😂🙌 I have always seen ads along the train station for this. If I ever went into the city to watch a show I’d probably go for this!

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Thanks, Ger! ☺️ I think that was one of the reasons I was so in awe, haha, I’m like bambi on ice in heels 😂 It would be a faaaab choice! x

  • Anaïs N.

    I’m glad you went to see this wonderful musical and that you liked it that much!
    I went to see it last year in London and as it was kind of last-minute I didn’t know anything about it, and for my greatest surprise : I was in awe during whole of it!!
    Great post as usual Hannah Xx

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Its such a good show, loved every minute of it! Thanks so much, Anaïs! xx

  • lauraslife123

    I was so excited reading your review as I am going to see Kinky Boots in May. Your review was really insightful so thanks for sharing x

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Omg, yes! I hope you have the best time!!! x

  • Lavrax

    Han!!! You just took me on a journey with this writing omg. Even as someone that’s not a fan of musicals, your writing is honestly amazing and I enjoyed every bit of this ❤

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Thanks so much, Lav, you got me crying here!!! ❤

  • I have watched it twice when it was in London!!
    SO good – just loved it 🙂

    The performances were just lovely <3
    this is such a great review especially for those who haven't seen it yet 🙂

    -Lena
    xx

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Jealous that you’ve had the chance to experience it more than once because it’s phenomenal! Thanks so much, Lena! xx

  • Whitney

    Loooove this so much right now girl!!! Im a huuuge musical fanatic- both for performing in them and being in the audience! Kinky boots has been on my list for the longest time but just cant afford to go:(
    But i was able to live it a little through this post and if thats as close as i can get right now ill happily take it!
    ❤❤

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      I’m glad I could help you live through the show a little, I do hate how expensive theatre tickets on, I’ve caught myself fallen in love with a very expensive hobby, haha! x

  • Kelly

    Hi lovely

    I never wanted to see this show as I hated the film but you have changed my mind I am going to look at tickets now x

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Would definitely recommend, Kel! It’s fab! x

  • alisonw30

    I’ve seen this advertised as being on somewhere near me I think. Off to check it out right now! 🙂

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Highly recommend!!

  • Chloe May Blogs

    Saw this a few years ago in London it is such a happy feel good Musical! Glad you had a good time x

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      Thanks, Chloe! x

  • Marie-Céline

    I have only been to Matilda and Blood Brothers. We get our musical fix from Encore Radio. I will listen more carefully to Kinky Boots 😁
    Mx

  • Chloe Chats

    I saw this advertising in Birmingham and I so nearly went!! Me and my boyfriend was just wandering around and we saw it was on and we were going to just be spontaneous and go watch it but we didn’t and now I regret it sooo much. After reading your musical reviews I always want to see them all, I haven’t seen a musical in so long so I just need to book one asap!!

    Chloe xx

    • hanmwill
      AUTHOR

      It’s there until the 23rd so you still have time! 😜☺️

  • Rachel

    I’ve seen a couple dozen musicals and this one is my all-time favorite. Saw it when it came to my work in 2014, twice in London and once in New York. Gets more amazing every time!

    Rachel || http://anotherstationanothermile.com

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