THEATRE REVIEW: Kinky Boots – QPAC

Just-Be---Photo-Credit---Matthew-Murphy-1120x745.jpg

Kinky Boots is the musical that Australia needs right now. Behind all the sequins, red costumes (not burgundy) and dazzling musical numbers there is a heartfelt story of acceptance. The award winning musical started its Australian run of dates in Melbourne last year and after travelling to Sydney the show has finally opened its doors in Brisbane. The timing is impeccable with the country currently divided over marriage equality and the upcoming postal plebiscite. But after seeing this show I don’t think anyone leaving the theatre will be voting anything but YES.

The show begins by introducing two young boys whose lives couldn’t be any more different. Charlie Price is in line for his father’s family shoe business “Price & Son” but is uninterested in his future. While on the other end of the spectrum is Simon who has a fascination over boots and in particular red women’s boots. But his father is not accepting of this love.

To his fathers dismay Charlie relocates to London with his fiancé Nicola to start a new life but he receives a phone call upon arrival that his father has had a heart attack and passed away. So he returns to the factory and finds out that the business is in serious debt. He struggles to fire some of the staff to reduce costs and begins to brainstorm ways to save the business. He goes to a bar to ask a friend for help and ends up stumbling into the back alleyway and sees a couple of thugs trying to attack a drag queen. Charlie jumps in to try and save the day but unknown to him she could handle herself and instead he gets knocked out. Lola (Simon) takes him into the club next door where he is introduced to the world of drag and hears her complaining about her heel always breaking because they aren’t designed to hold a mans weight. It’s in that moment that Charlie knows how he is going to save the business. He excitingly goes back to the factory and announces his new business proposal; making female boots for men. Well in particular, for drag queens. The idea isn’t met with total support but the rest of the story looks at the characters accepting not just Lola but themselves in a heart-warming message which we really do need right now in the world.

The songs have been written and composed by Cyndi Lauper so they are as campy, fun and vibrant as you can imagine. While Toby Francis is amazing as Charlie and brings all the heart and passion that the character needs it is Lola that steals the show. Direct from the West End production Callum Francis will have you in absolute awe from his glittery first number “Land Of Lola” right up until he takes his bow at the end of “Raise You Up/Just Be”. His sass and timing is immaculate and delivers the comedic one-liners with conviction and ease. His vocals are incredible and with all the high energy and choreography he does not hit a flat note once. The rest of the cast are hilariously brilliant and after witnessing the Broadway version earlier this year in March I was a bit worried how the Australian production would live up to my expectations. But they smashed them. The show’s warmth and underlying message of love was radiating and met with a massive standing ovation. Everyone left the theatre with a massive smile on their face and truly having felt inspired. Kinky Boots is a one of a kind musical that just HAS to be witnessed and there hasn’t been a better time in Australia than now to experience it.

You can catch Kinky Boots at the QPAC in Brisbane until October 22. Tickets are available at https://www.qpac.com.au/event/kinky_boots_17/ 

 

 

Advertisements