Kinky Boots

Date 14th September 2022
Society Hoylake & West Kirby Theatre Group
Venue The Gladstone Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Ami Clewlow and Simon Brock
Musical Director Jeff Broadbere
Choreographer Megan Clarke
Producer Ami Clewlow and Simon Brock
Written By Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper

Report

Author: Joanne Rymer

Kinky Boots

Hoylake & West Kirby Theatre Group

14th September 2022

 

A musical about shoes!!!  Written by Harvey Fierstein with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots hit the West End in 2013 winning a Tony award for best musical!!

Just as 'La Cage Aux Folles' created a sensation in the 1970s and 1980s (again written by Fierstein!), this show is the modern equivalent in many ways. Both sides of the sexuality spectrum meet, and after the occasional face off and misgivings, find that there is actually very little difference between them and the show ends with love, understanding, and respect for all

For those of you not familiar with the movie or the show, Kinky Boots is the story of Charlie Price who is left running Price & Sons, a shoe factory in Northampton, following the death of his father. Unfortunately Price & Sons is struggling until Charlie meets Lola, a drag queen whose stiletto heels can’t keep up with her! Charlie sees an opportunity to save the factory and takes on the task of designing and manufacturing boots for a whole new clientele which in turn challenges Charlie and his employees to consider how they treat and perceive others.

The curtain opens on a two tier set that transports you straight to the Price and Son factory in Northampton, opening the show with ‘The Most Beautiful Thing in the World’  Old  Mr. Price, sings to his  young  son, Charlie, (Charlie Brock) about the beauty of shoes but Charlie is less than impressed  He doesn’t want a future making shoes. Meanwhile, young Lola (Finley Marsden) is trying on a pair of red high heels. He is confident and happy in them, until his father orders him to take them off. What an opening number, a full house at the Gladstone Theatre Wirral was in no doubt that a special evening was ahead. We were not disappointed.

This is an excellent production, Ami Clewlow and Simon Brock are to be congratulated for their direction, from the first to the final note bringing that high energy and infectious enthusiasm that people love to get from live theatre. Their passion and love for what they are doing is infectious and make it impossible to not get caught up in the show and story they are telling. What is so heart-warming is that these are people who work during the day and have still found the time and energy to put all these hours in, and give people a wonderful, positive show. Congratulations to all

Leading the cast is Elliot Tuft as Charlie Price and Jon Croft as Lola, who are well deserving of their roles, not only showing off their vocals but bringing the emotions through their ballads such as ‘Hold me in your Heart’, ‘Not my Father’s Son’ and ‘Soul of a Man’.

Jon Croft illuminates the stage as Lola, with more than enough charisma, talent and emotional depth necessary to portray Lola and to be believable as the catalyst for change in the story.  Equally his vulnerability as Simon added another layer to the show and his duet with Elliot ‘Not My Father’s Son’ easily proved to be an emotional highlight .Tuft and Croft have strong chemistry as the unlikely friends that become each other’s confidantes and biggest supporters.

Charlie's fiancée Nicola, was played with frustrated patience (if that isn't too much of an oxymoron) by Leanne Burgess, whilst on the other end of the spectrum completely, giving a larger than life factory girl in love  with the boss Lauren, was Ciera Evans, providing us with much of the loveable comedy with accomplished skill. Cierra’s rendition of ‘History of Wrong Guys ’was a show stopper. Fantastic performance

Supporting Elliot and Jon are a wonderful ensemble whose voices blend beautifully and reach every corner of the auditorium. The characterisation of the team is remarkable. Even when people are not the main focus of attention, their characterisation never drops and the cast still maintains and gives their all; in fact, it’s as interesting and entertaining to watch the ensembles’ reaction to the main action of a scene and how they interact with each other, as it is to watch the main show itself. I have to mention Louise Gleave as Trish and Lois Founds as Pat who provide the charming, down-to-earth, supportive pillars of the  factory community, also James Bennetts Don and Kris Hubbards George both  great layered performances. Congratulations to Lois Founds and Kris Hubbard who stepped in at the last moment for tonight’s performance.

The Angels, played by John Sprung, Ben Doherty, Liam Comer, Thomas Ryan Mel Wharton, and Steph Wiggins are fabulous. They strut around the stage in their heels as if they own it, whilst showing off the fine choreography, courtesy of wonderful choreographer Megan Clarke.

Choreography for ‘The Sex is in the Heel’   and ‘Everybody Say Yeah’ is superb really showcases the choreography, both numbers being show-stopping itself, giving the Angels the chance to shine. A show highlight for me

Musical director and conductor Jeff Braodbere does a fantastic job leading this very talented group of musicians throughout the show.

Praise must go to wardrobe, Rose Evans, Carol Nickson and Kelly Seville: the costumes are stunning. The iconic red boots of course make appearances and combine with the glamorous costumes that the Angels and Lola are famous for is visually amazing.  Well done stage crew  with a set that transports you straight to the Price and Son factory in Northampton to a catwalk in Milan, the attention to detail in the show elevates it and all helps brings it to life.

It’s no secret that when people come together to make a show happen, that team becomes a family. With HAWK that much is obvious. The love and support they have for each other is palpable, the authenticity of the relationships on stage cannot be questioned.

As the entire cast came onto the stage for one final number, the audience was up on their feet, dancing along. This production featured a fabulous cast, brilliant staging and costuming, and so much energy. 

One thing is for sure with the HAWK production of Kinky Boots it may not have the money that West End productions have, but it has the talent, dedication, and passion.

Thank you for inviting me, this was a night to remember, thankyou HAWK for a truly amazing experience.

Joanne Rymer

NODA

District 4

Kinky Boots

Hoylake & West Kirby Theatre Group

14th September 2022

 

A musical about shoes!!!  Written by Harvey Fierstein with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots hit the West End in 2013 winning a Tony award for best musical!!

Just as 'La Cage Aux Folles' created a sensation in the 1970s and 1980s (again written by Fierstein!), this show is the modern equivalent in many ways. Both sides of the sexuality spectrum meet, and after the occasional face off and misgivings, find that there is actually very little difference between them and the show ends with love, understanding, and respect for all

For those of you not familiar with the movie or the show, Kinky Boots is the story of Charlie Price who is left running Price & Sons, a shoe factory in Northampton, following the death of his father. Unfortunately Price & Sons is struggling until Charlie meets Lola, a drag queen whose stiletto heels can’t keep up with her! Charlie sees an opportunity to save the factory and takes on the task of designing and manufacturing boots for a whole new clientele which in turn challenges Charlie and his employees to consider how they treat and perceive others.

The curtain opens on a two tier set that transports you straight to the Price and Son factory in Northampton, opening the show with ‘The Most Beautiful Thing in the World’  Old  Mr. Price, sings to his  young  son, Charlie, (Charlie Brock) about the beauty of shoes but Charlie is less than impressed  He doesn’t want a future making shoes. Meanwhile, young Lola (Finley Marsden) is trying on a pair of red high heels. He is confident and happy in them, until his father orders him to take them off. What an opening number, a full house at the Gladstone Theatre Wirral was in no doubt that a special evening was ahead. We were not disappointed.

This is an excellent production, Ami Clewlow and Simon Brock are to be congratulated for their direction, from the first to the final note bringing that high energy and infectious enthusiasm that people love to get from live theatre. Their passion and love for what they are doing is infectious and make it impossible to not get caught up in the show and story they are telling. What is so heart-warming is that these are people who work during the day and have still found the time and energy to put all these hours in, and give people a wonderful, positive show. Congratulations to all

Leading the cast is Elliot Tuft as Charlie Price and Jon Croft as Lola, who are well deserving of their roles, not only showing off their vocals but bringing the emotions through their ballads such as ‘Hold me in your Heart’, ‘Not my Father’s Son’ and ‘Soul of a Man’.

Jon Croft illuminates the stage as Lola, with more than enough charisma, talent and emotional depth necessary to portray Lola and to be believable as the catalyst for change in the story.  Equally his vulnerability as Simon added another layer to the show and his duet with Elliot ‘Not My Father’s Son’ easily proved to be an emotional highlight .Tuft and Croft have strong chemistry as the unlikely friends that become each other’s confidantes and biggest supporters.

Charlie's fiancée Nicola, was played with frustrated patience (if that isn't too much of an oxymoron) by Leanne Burgess, whilst on the other end of the spectrum completely, giving a larger than life factory girl in love  with the boss Lauren, was Ciera Evans, providing us with much of the loveable comedy with accomplished skill. Cierra’s rendition of ‘History of Wrong Guys ’was a show stopper. Fantastic performance

Supporting Elliot and Jon are a wonderful ensemble whose voices blend beautifully and reach every corner of the auditorium. The characterisation of the team is remarkable. Even when people are not the main focus of attention, their characterisation never drops and the cast still maintains and gives their all; in fact, it’s as interesting and entertaining to watch the ensembles’ reaction to the main action of a scene and how they interact with each other, as it is to watch the main show itself. I have to mention Louise Gleave as Trish and Lois Founds as Pat who provide the charming, down-to-earth, supportive pillars of the  factory community, also James Bennetts Don and Kris Hubbards George both  great layered performances. Congratulations to Lois Founds and Kris Hubbard who stepped in at the last moment for tonight’s performance.

The Angels, played by John Sprung, Ben Doherty, Liam Comer, Thomas Ryan Mel Wharton, and Steph Wiggins are fabulous. They strut around the stage in their heels as if they own it, whilst showing off the fine choreography, courtesy of wonderful choreographer Megan Clarke.

 

 

Choreography for ‘The Sex is in the Heel’   and ‘Everybody Say Yeah’ is superb really showcases the choreography, both numbers being show-stopping itself, giving the Angels the chance to shine. A show highlight for me

Musical director and conductor Jeff Braodbere does a fantastic job leading this very talented group of musicians throughout the show.

Praise must go to wardrobe, Rose Evans, Carol Nickson and Kelly Seville: the costumes are stunning. The iconic red boots of course make appearances and combine with the glamorous costumes that the Angels and Lola are famous for is visually amazing.  Well done stage crew  with a set that transports you straight to the Price and Son factory in Northampton to a catwalk in Milan, the attention to detail in the show elevates it and all helps brings it to life.

It’s no secret that when people come together to make a show happen, that team becomes a family. With HAWK that much is obvious. The love and support they have for each other is palpable, the authenticity of the relationships on stage cannot be questioned.

As the entire cast came onto the stage for one final number, the audience was up on their feet, dancing along. This production featured a fabulous cast, brilliant staging and costuming, and so much energy. 

 

One thing is for sure with the HAWK production of Kinky Boots it may not have the money that West End productions have, but it has the talent, dedication, and passion.

Thank you for inviting me, this was a night to remember, thankyou HAWK for a truly amazing experience.

Joanne Rymer

NODA

District 4