This uplifting and compassionate musical is a reminder of how important kindness and friendship is.

Based on the 2005 film, Kinky Boots as a musical might get off to a slow start but by by the end you certainly feel uplifted and inspired by this story of Charlie Price who manages to transform his father’s shoe factory by catering to a niche market – with the help of Lola.

What makes this such a touching story to watch unfold is actually to see how Lola and Charlie’s friendship develops. In particular, seeing how Charlie overcoming all of his doubts and prejudices and Lola overcoming some of her own doubts and insecurities. Their duet of ‘I’m Not My Father’s Son’ is definitely one of the most poignant moments in the show – revealing that while they appear to be different, they actually have more in common.

Featuring music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, the score can be a little hit and miss in places. For example, ‘The Most Beautiful Thing in the World’ and ‘Take What You Got’ just lacking in punch that the rest of the songs have. In contrast to this songs such as ‘Land of Lola’ and ‘Raise You Up’ are fun filled and enjoyable numbers – particularly when put together with Jerry Mitchell’s sharp and brilliant choreography that really works well.

Jerry Mitchell’s production and Harvey Fierstein’s book really capture the important messages of the story – not only the importance of accepting yourself but also accepting others for who they are. This captured wonderfully through not only Charlie’s outburst at Lola towards the end but the jibes made by Don constantly, sharply highlighting just how damaging words can be.

This compassionate musical features some lovely performances. Taking full centre stage Matt Henry as Lola really is a force to be reckoned with, offering sheer joy and sass, yet also some serious self-doubt and vulnerability underneath. Elsewhere, Killian Donnelly as Charlie really highlights the character’s sense of confusion of who he really is and what he wants from life, while Natalie McQueen is hilarious as Lauren with her rendition of ‘The History of Wrong Guys’ proving to be a real highlight of the show.

Overall, Kinky Boots is a joy to watch despite taking some time to get going. It is exactly the kind of musical that everyone needs right now to raise the spirits and celebrate who we are.

By Emma Clarendon

Kinky Boots is available to watch through Broadway HD now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐