REVIEW: ‘Kinky Boots’ Is This Year’s Must-See Musical


Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots is one of the best, best musicals I’ve seen in a very long time.

Usually on an opening night, the audience is very staid – I think I saw the governor’s car there – and a few other people in the audience were very reserved. But at the end of the show, they leapt to their feet. They literally jumped out of their seats to give a standing ovation and you very rarely see that in Brisbane.

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Kinky Boots is based on a true story from the 1990s, and it was turned into a film in 2005. It’s about a guy who has inherited a shoe factory after his father’s passing. The factory makes very boring shoes, you might say, and he is eventually inspired to make “kinky boots” for a bunch of drag queens that have inspired him in a bid to hopefully rescue his factory.

The success of this incarnation is probably a lot to do with Cyndi Lauper’s music and some beautiful direction and writing. The book of the musical is by Harvey Fierstein, who is famous for “La Cage aux Folles”, and he knows his characters. In fact, the drag queens turn the show into an absolutely wonderful musical. They lift the show beyond any expectation that you have going in to see it. In fact, my expectations were somewhat mediocre but I was totally blown away.

17-08-16 Kinky Boots Two Leads Stage INLINE-min

Lola is absolutely amazing. She’s the drag queen, the centerpiece of the whole show. She’s brilliant, she lifts the show from a musical just bubbling along. Callum Francis, who plays Lola, has a brilliant voice. He also played the character in London when Kinky Boots launched there so he’s certainly got his role down but my goodness, what a voice!

17-08-16 Kinky Boots Cast Stage Shot INLINE-min

The staging in QPAC’s Lyric Theatre is very clever. The devices and mechanisms they used in a fairly tight theatre gives it a very intimate feel and it’s not clumsy or cumbersome. It’s impressive the way that they’re able to manipulate the theater and make the various settings required to be able to stage the show. The mechanics of it add to the dynamics and the depth of the show. The vibrance and the sparkle are astronomical, especially as the show builds throughout the performance.

Whatever you’ve got to do, you must see this show because you won’t be disappointed.

Kinky Boots is running until October 22 at QPAC’s the Lyric Theatre. Tickets are available through the QPAC website.