London Gets Kinky!

Kinky Boots has now closed at the Adelphi Theatre. See shows at the Adelphi Theatre here.

Last night we were lucky enough to be invited to watch an exclusive dress rehearsal of the West End's hottest new musical – the 2013 Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots. Based on the British film of the same name, this screen-to-stage musical features a score by Grammy Award-winner Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein, and is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, whose previous work in the West End includes 'Legally Blonde' and 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'.

The West End production comes direct from Broadway where it has been playing to packed houses at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre for the past two years. Since winning the Tony Award for Best New Musical, the show has enjoyed a US National Tour and stand-alone productions in South Korea and Toronto, all receiving excellent word of mouth and turning into sell-out hits.

We caught up with the show during its final week of technical rehearsals at the Adelphi Theatre as the cast were getting used to working with the full set and dazzling costumes. The technical rehearsals involve the full creative team and crew and are a chance to finalise lighting, sound and all of the other technical aspects that have to come together to make a show work. Working with a small band, Jerry Mitchell said the company were excited to work with the full orchestra later this week, before the first preview performance this Friday in front of an audience.

After weeks of rehearsing in the studio, each cast member was allowed to invite one loved one to a special performance before moving into the theatre. By this point, they were ready for an audience to laugh, clap and cheer along to the hilarious book and thrilling production numbers. Even with days to go the show was looking in excellent shape, with incredible choreography delivered by a hugely talented company, who Mitchell said had been a “joy” to work with. 

West End favourite Killian Donnelly takes on the role of 'Charlie Price', the shoe manufacturer who embraces Lola and decides that in order to change the fate of his factory he needs to appeal to a niche market. Donnelly has a firm army of fans thanks to stints in popular shows such as 'Les Misérables', 'The Phantom of the Opera', 'Billy Elliot' and he recently created the roles of 'Deco' in 'The Commitments' and 'Huey Calhoun' in 'Memphis', so is no stranger to the pressures associated with originating a role. Once again his star quality shines through, bringing his usual charm and exceptional vocals to this challenging role.

Matt Henry has a large pair of glittery stilettos to fill in the central role of 'Lola', the drag queen who inspires Charlie to begin production of shoes for drag artists which results in his shoe factory thriving. The role, which was originated on Broadway by Billy Porter and saw him win the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critic's Circle Award for Best Actor in a Musical, is physically and vocally challenging. Not only does he have to deliver some of the biggest numbers in the show, but also walk and dance in a full range of high heeled shoes, whilst always looking fabulous. It's fair to say that 'The Voice' star Matt Henry has a lot to contend with – but we're sure that by opening night he'll be ready to bring the house down.

The musical is a perfect opportunity for Jerry Mitchell to showcase his work as one of the industry's leading choreographers, with a full range of high kicking numbers and exciting ensemble performances. The multi-talented company includes a range of West End favourites, each committing “full out”, bringing the energy and passion to such an important musical story. 

Kinky Boots is a musical about acceptance, originality and being who you are. It's the perfect antidote to a long day at work and we're already excited for audiences to get lost in the magic and find themselves clapping along. This is a perfect show for audiences looking for a feel-good musical and we're sure it will be popular with families of all ages, theatre fans and those new to West End musicals. With less than a month to go to the official opening night, make sure you grab your ticket to the biggest new musical this season - “Everybody Say Yeah!”