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Kinky Boots Review: Bristol Hippodrome

Whatever your mood, you'll be on a high by the end of the show. Read our Kinky Boots review with backstage tour, RED 6 inch stilettos & Lola, our favourite transvestite!

KINKY BOOTS REVIEW

The Bristol Hippodrome

MONDAY 25th  FEB – SATURDAY 9th MARCH 2019

Before watching the Kinky Boots musical this week, we had the opportunity to hear from a couple of cast members who gave us some goss about the show and the part they play in it.

We learnt that ‘swing’ is a type of understudy for smaller and ensemble roles. Their job sounds exhausting as they’re always watching and learning in case they’re called upon to step in. In Kinky Boots one swing might cover 5 or 6 parts and some cover up to 11 roles!

It was fascinating to hear about the effort and cost that goes into the costumes in a show like this. We had the rare chance to go backstage and see the glamorous get-ups just before the cast took to the stage. The conductor’s outfit is covered in Swarovski crystals – with a sparkly ticket machine to match.

Around 40 pairs of boots are featured at roughly £2000 each. Each cast member’s calves are measured in multiple places so their boots fit them like a glove (so to speak).

By the time we’d seen backstage, we couldn’t wait to take our seats and watch the show.

Do YOU fancy a peek behind the scenes? If so, take a look at our instagram story here.

Now – on with the show!

KINKY BOOTS – THE PLOT

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes us from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price (Joel Harper-Jackson) is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of loveable transvestite (Kayi Ushe), a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

HIGHLIGHTS

THE GIRL: Paula Lane, (known for her role as Kylie Platt in Coronation Street) steals her hilarious scenes as factory worker, Lauren, who finds herself falling for her boss, Charlie.

THE KINKY BOOTS: At the end of act one a dream starts to come true in a scene involving the production of the inaugural pair of shiny, hot-red six inch boots and some slick choreography involving multiple travelators. (What could possibly go wrong?!) You don’t want to miss this scene. When the diamanté heels come out later in the show, there’s an audible “Ooh” from the audience.

THE TRANSVESTITE: Lola her/himself is fabulous, dahling! Whether she’s performing with The Angels in a seedy London nightclub, strutting through a northern shoe factory looking spectacular or pronouncing one of her memorable lines:-

“Ladies gentlemen and those who’ve yet to make up their minds.”,

she commands everyone’s attention and forces us to rethink our preconception of transvestites.

KINKY BOOTS AGE SUITABILITY

With a title like “Kinky Boots”, I might have guessed bringing a ten year old along could be ‘interesting’.

There’s a smattering of bad language such as “p**s off” which obviously I’d rather shield him from until he’s at least 25 but, alas, it pretty much comes with the territory with a show like this.

Skimpy, sparkly, sassy outfits abound and glamorous transvestite, Lola, is determined to keep us on our six inch stilettos,

“The seeeeeex is in the heels!” 

Lola doesn’t let factory owner Charlie get away with producing anything less than an overtly raunchy range of boots.

Burgundy is the colour of hot water bottles. Red is the colour of seeeeeeeex!

I think I managed to wing it with a half decent response when during the interval my boy asked:-

“What does kinky mean?”

Despite all this, my ten year old thoroughly enjoyed the show and with his sponge-like young brain was interested to learn that a transvestite is “somebody of one gender who dresses in clothes which are usually worn by the other”.

Perhaps we adults were slower to catch on as we spent some time trying to work out which of the dancing ‘Angels’ were female – only to discover eventually that they were all male!

My boy had a great time but he thinks that ten might be a tiny bit on the young side for this show.

THE VERDICT

This is such a fun show. One of the swings was spot on when she told us:-

“Regardless of what mood you’re in before it starts, it’s a fun show and you’re feeling UP by the end of it.”

We loved the show. It was fun, brave and thought provoking. We learnt from Lola that we need to accept people for who they are, even “those who’ve yet to make up their minds”.

We’ll never think of a transvestite in the same way again after getting to know Lola in Kinky Boots. Highly recommended. We absolutely loved it.

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Whatever your mood, you'll be on a high by the end of the show. Read our Kinky Boots review with backstage tour, RED 6 inch stilettos & Lola, our favourite transvestite!

KINKY BOOTS CAST AND CREDITS

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony® Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray), Kinky Boots is the winner of every major Best Musical award including three Olivier Awards, three WhatsOnStage Awards as well as six Broadway Tony® Awards.

Kayi Ushe (Lola/Simon) has several theatre credits including The Crucible, A Little Night Music (Storyhouse, Chester); Motown the Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre); Wonderland (UK Tour); The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre); Avenue Q (UK Tour); Kisses on a Postcard (North Devon Theatres); Fame the Musical (Italian tour) and Crazy for You (London Palladium).

Joel Harper-Jackson (Charlie Price) has numerous theatre credits including Pieces of String (Mercury Theatre); Myth: The Rise and Fall of Orpheus (The Other Palace); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (UK Tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (The Aldwych Theatre); Little Women (Hope Mill Theatre); Picture Perfect (St James); Pacific Overtures (Union Theatre); Rent (UK Tour) and West End Women (UK Tour). His film credits include The Curse and Abu Ghraib.

Paula Lane (Lauren) has appeared on stage in Be More Martyn (Southwark Playhouse) and The Bengal Lily (Manchester Royal Exchange). Her television and film credits include Coronation Street; Doctors; Heartbeat; The Royal; Going Postal and War Wounds.

Demitri Lampra (Don) has appeared on stage in both The Jungle Book (Image Musical Theatre) and The Wind in the Willows (UK tour).

Helen Ternent (Nicola) has several theatre credits including Jersey Boys (Piccadilly Theatre); The Pajama Game (Shaftesbury Theatre); Stephen Ward (Aldwych Theatre); Viva Forever (Piccadilly Theatre); Hairspray! (UK Tour); High School Musical 2 (UK Tour Fame (UK Tour); We Will Rock You (Vienna/Zurich); The Three Musketeers (Berlin); Mamma Mia! (Cyprus).

Adam Price (George) has multiple theatre credits including Privates On Parade (MGC, Noel Coward Theatre); Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre); Hairspray (UK Tour); Blood Brothers, Oliver Twist, Ghosts of Scrooge (Library Theatre); Babes in Arms, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The Boys From Syracuse (Crucible, Sheffield); Guys & Dolls, Fat Pig – The Musical (Leicester Haymarket); The Red Balloon (Bristol Old Vic); Notre Dame (Oxford); The Merry Widow, Ghosts Of Ruddigore (Opera Della Luna); Make Some Noise, One Step Beyond (Stratford East); A Hole In The Fence (White Bear Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Hampstead Theatre) and The Dark Side (UK Tour). His television and film credits include Family Affairs; Eastenders; May To December; Coppers; The Cuckoo Sister; Grange Hill; Just Good Friends; Executive Stress and Young Soul Rebels.

Also joining the Kinky Boots cast are Demitri Lampra (Don), Adam Price (George) Helen Ternent (Nicola) who will be accompanied by Charlie Allen, Nicola Avino, Lizzie Bea, Joshua St Clair, Connor Collins, Daniel Conway, Shaun Dalton, John Dempsey, Niki Evans, Mary Fox, Scarlet Gabriel, Damon Gould, George Grayson, Portia Harry, Joshua Lovell, Jacob McIntosh, Chileshe Mondelle, Alfie Parker, Fred Smiley, Toyan Thomas-Browne, Andy Watkins and Jason Winter.

Kinky Boots is produced by Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig and Playful Productions, in association with Cameron Mackintosh.

Book:                                                   Harvey Fierstein

Composer & Lyricist:                            Cyndi Lauper

Director & Choreographer:                      Jerry Mitchell

Musical Supervision,

Arranger & Orchestrator:                      Stephen Oremus

Scenic Design:                                        David Rockwell

Costume Design:                                  Gregg Barnes

Lighting Design:                                      Kenneth Posner

Sound Design:                                         John Shivers

Hair Design:                                          Josh Marquette

CHECK OUT OTHER BRISTOL HIPPODROME SHOW REVIEWS

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DISCLOSURE: WE RECEIVED TICKETS FOR PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY/OUR OWN.

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3 comments… add one
  • Anonymous 01/03/2019, 23:41

    Was an awesome show!! X

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