Bursting the Bubble: Kinky Boots

Taking advantage of her time away Ciara Munnelly takes her own advice and becomes a tourist in her home town of London, sampling the hit West End Kinky Boots and thriving nightlife.

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Being at home in London for Christmas is the perfect time to catch up on culture: be a tourist in your own city, pub catch-ups with school friends but best of all is sampling what the West End has to offer. There is so much on at the moment it’s hard to decide which ones to choose. My sister suggested Kinky Boots without offering too much of a background and I wandered blindly into the Adelphi Theatre not really knowing what to expect.

You wouldn’t think that a show based in a shoe factory would have such an effect on its audience but the Cyndi Lauper written soundtrack, glittery costumes and fierce drag queens had me in a trance from the get go. Characterisation in this show is everything, if you can’t get the audience on board with your cast, the music simply won’t carry it. The three leads were played by understudies but it certainly didn’t feel like we were getting second best. Momar Diagne perfectly embodied Drag Queen Lola with a tragic backstory. However, the stand out cast member for me was Suzie McAdam who played the utterly hilarious Lauren who has a “History of wrong guys” .

As for music, the soundtrack has become my most played on Spotify with my walking to the gym anthem being “The sex is in the heel” an upbeat track sung by Lola and her Angels. Charlie Price’s solo lament was also perfectly mastered by Jordan Fox and there was not a dry in the house by the time the song came to a close. The costumes for this show were (obviously) particularly important as was make up and a lot of praise must be reserved for the design team who fabricated some amazing creations. There was a Union Jack ensemble, a beefeater look as well as all the amazing thigh high boots in an array of colours. It was hard to focus on the action when there was so much sparkle and glitter to be distracted by. The final song – Raise you Up had the audience on their feet and the little nod back to young Charlie and Simon left a lump in my throat.

As we filed out of the auditorium, there was a buzz all around us. It is so easy for a show involving drag queens to become tacky but the team seemed to strike the perfect balance where the back story’s mattered and yet there was still a spectacle to behold. After a night of theatre, the only way we could end the night was with some more live music. A short bus ride away in Farringdon we found an underground bar, The Piano Works, which has a live band who perform requests. There was a little bit of “Despacito”, some Earth, Wind and Fire and some John Legend. All in all a typical West- End night out.

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