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Kinky Boots | Storyhouse Chester

The Storyhouse theatre in Chester brings its production of Kinky Boots to the stage this May. With a book by Harvey Fierstein, music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, and direction from Amber Sinclair-Case, we follow Charlie Price as he steps into his father's shoes to run the family shoe factory in Northampton. Struggling to make ends meet, leading to the drastic measures of his staff facing redundancy, an unlikely chance meeting with Drag Queen Lola encourages Charlie to find a niche market to save his factory. Kinky Boots is a story full of heart, passion, inclusivity and acceptance.


Lauper's music and lyrics are what truly stands out when it comes to Kinky Boots, with an array of upbeat and joyous tunes alongside some emotional and heartfelt ballads, and this is further enhanced in this production with the safe hands of musical director Sarah De Tute. The actors pair up as musicians and it's impressive to watch the seamless way in which they infuse their singing, acting and instrument playing. Throughout, the instruments are incredibly tight and punchy, which gives this show the necessary appeal, however, in occasional moments they seem to overpower the vocals. However, it is joyous to witness the passion that radiates from each member of the cast, who clearly look like they're having a great time throughout.



Duane-Lamonte O'Garro gives a stellar performance as Lola. Passion and emotion seeps through into performances of Not My Father's Son and Hold Me in Your Heart that truly allow the audience to resonate and emphasise with Lola. Danny Becker plays Charlie with an awkward charm, but is strong in his natural ability to jolt the audience when he reaches breaking point and emotions run high. Leah Vassell is a joy in the role of Lauren, with an abundance of humour in The History of Wrong Guys, and a real likability. Overall, the standard of the cast is tremendously high, with the ensemble pulling together to give an ethusiastic and joie de vivre performance. However, an honourable mention must be given to Gareth Cassidy as George, who steals the show in many background moments.


Production designer Rachael Ryan ensures that the audience are able to fully immerse themselves into this production. Similar to previous productions of Kinky Boots, a factory with a sign 'Price and Son' adorns the back wall, however, with the helping hand of direction from Sinclair-Case, the actors move crates and boxes of shoes around the stage to transport the audience to different locations. Lighting design from Charly Dunford floods the stage with bright and fun colours in the big ensemble numbers, but plunges us into blues and darkness for the heartfelt ballads. Sinclair-Case's direction enables Kinky Boots to stay true to its original roots, but gives a refreshing and immersive aspect that excites and thrills audiences (no spoilers).


Lauren may suffer with The History of Wrong Guys, but Storyhouse's production of Kinky Boots is bound to go down in the history of successful and creative theatre productions. Vibrant, energetic, creative and uplifting, Kinky Boots inspires individuals to be unapologetically themselves. Kinky Boots runs at the Storyhouse Chester until 18th May - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Mark McNulty

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