Review - Kinky Boots the musical at Northampton's Royal & Derngate

Kinky Boots
Kinky Boots

It is six years since Kinky Boots made a smash hit on the other side of the pond. And it finally returned home with a UK tour starting in Northampton.

Based on a true story it sees Charlie Price is struggling to save his family business of Price & Son making shoes. He turns to help from performer Lola in need of some sturdy yet stylish shoes. A pair of kinky boots

I was lucky enough to get to see the West End version of this show just over a month ago and sometimes a touring show doesn’t match up to the standards that you find in the capital

But this production wasn’t content to be as good as the West End but comprehensively beat it hands down. Everything about this show was absolutely superb.

Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie takes a tricky part, essentially the straight man, and makes it shine. In the West End, He adds so much energy but having a broad smile on his face while he comes up with his crazy ideas to rescue the factory. It's simple enthusiasm, he's loving the situation, especially some of the more extravagant situations.

Callum Francis is wonderful as Lola with a truly stunning voice during the big musical numbers. But the songs Not My Father's Son and Hold Me In Your Heart give the character a depth beyond the sequins and glitter. He is a complete star with a performance which would have bought the house down in the West End.

It is the finer details which can be admired from the Northampton accents which no doubt delighted audiences to the enthusiasm for being here.

Everything down to the set, faithfully recreated, to the choreography, everything was absolutely wonderful.

Not even a fire alarm just after the start of the second act could interrupt the quality of this performance.

I have to admit that I came away from the West End slightly disappointed and struggling to understand the enthusiasm for bringing the show home. But watching it, I know why it was bought with such vigour to Northampton. This was simply superb and hands down beats the West End performance. Simply superb.

Kinky Boots can be seen at Northampton's Royal & Derngate until Saturday October 6. Tickets for the show can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.