Kinky Boots: From Britain to Broadway and Back Again!

Theatre Breaks

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Coming to the West End this summer, Kinky Boots follows hot on the heels of top Broadway transfers, and is set to be the sauciest show of this year. But how did the true story of a struggling Northampton shoemaker come to be a record-breaking Broadway hit? The show has an astounding pedigree…

London-Kinky

The real-life story was turned into a popular British film (of the same name, released in 2005) which captured the attention of the Broadway elite. The creative team behind the show include pop icon and Grammy-winner Cyndi Lauper (music), Tony-winning actor and writer Harvey Fierstein (book) and Tony-winning choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

Charlie Price’s dreams of leaving Northampton for a new life in London are squashed when he has to take over his father’s business – with the factory facing closure, he has to think of something innovative, fast. A chance meeting with Drag Queen and cabaret performer Lola may just turn things around for them, and put them on the world’s biggest fashion stage…

Nominated for an incredible 13 Tony Awards, the show won in 6 categories including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Going up against the West End import Matilda The Musical – a show that even now holds the record for most Olivier Award wins – Kinky Boots faced stiff competition, but prevailed in the major categories, perhaps because of its exuberant energy and sassy, feel-good message.

So what can we expect from Kinky Boots in London? I saw Kinky Boots on Broadway – a few months before it went on to sweep up at the Tony Awards – and I absolutely loved it. It’s camp and cheesy and funny and very, very sweet. We Brits love a good underdog story, but there was plenty of love for the show and its unlikely success story in New York that night too.

Michael-NYC

The show is big, bold, brassy, and full of colour and musical numbers that – somewhat unsurprisingly – have a contemporary, pop feel to them. The team behind the show are promising that #LondonGetsKinky from this summer, and the cheeky and forward-thinking show looks set to inherit the mantle of past hits like La Cage Aux Folles (also written by Fierstein) and Priscilla Queen of The Desert.

Another great coup for the London production of Kinky Boots is that Killian Donnelly – who has thoroughly impressed West End audiences in both The Commitments and Memphis: The Musical in recent years – has joined the cast. He’ll play struggling factory owner Charlie, whilst the sensational role of Lola will be played by Matt Henry, a former contestant on The Voice and certain to be a popular addition to the West End’s elite.

By all accounts, the Broadway production has gone on from strength to strength across the pond, still packing in audiences in the two years since I saw it. The show now looks set to take London by storm… not bad for a plucky little story about Northampton shoemakers, eh? All the way from Britain to Broadway and back again!

Kinky Boots is our Show of the Month for June, with ticket plus hotel packages from £99.

Off to Kinky Boots this summer? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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