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Kinky Boots returns home…

The award winning musical sets Northampton alight! If you do one thing over the next fortnight, go and see this spectacular production at the Royal & Derngate!

OMG, this musical is gonna rock your world! Superb performances, spectacularly colourful sets and storyline and it ticks EVERY box you want from a musical (very well-done to Cyndi Lauper no less)! I’m reliably informed that the torrents of laughter, applause and standing ovations weren’t limited to last night’s performance either, this really is theatrical magic! And how fitting the Kinky Boots UK tour is back to where the story came from, Northampton, the shoe making capital of the world. The musical is already a hit, winning every major Best Musical award including the 2016 Olivier Award. And after all this success, it was evident the good people of Northampton could not wait for it to come back ‘home’; the excitement before the show was palpable and it did not disappoint!

If you’re not familiar with Kinky Boots, it’s a joyously flamboyant but heartfelt story of Brit grit to high-heeled hit, taking you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton (Earls Barton no less) to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. In the musical (and film, which is also superb) Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous drag queen in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

The despicably talented Callum Francis is putting on the boots to play Lola; Corrie’s Paula Lane plays shoe factory worker Lauren and West End star Joel Harper-Jackson takes the role of Charlie. They’re all really wonderful, but the fact is Callum steals EVERY scene that he’s in. Sassy, tough and funny while perfectly nailing the vulnerable side of the character, he had the whole audience eating out of his hand (I also think everyone – men and women – left the show slightly in love with Lola, Callum and Simon – Lola’s boy side).

Huge credit to Lola’s Angels (the drag queen troop) who danced their socks off (and boy could they high kick). I heard several people in the audience question whether they were actually men or women! The whole ensemble cast were amazing to be honest, particularly George and Don (you’ll spot them)!

The songs by Grammy and Tony awarding winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper were superb, despite never having heard any before. You’ll still be humming the tunes the next day, they’re sassy, fun and uplifting, everything you’d expect from Lauper.

All inspired by true events, the real Charlie Price, Steve Pateman, has written a book to coincide with the tour. Steve goes along to all the performances at the Northampton leg of the tour and you can join him for drinks at The Premier Inn where he will sign books (his book, Boss in Boots, tells you the true events that led to Kinky Boots). I managed to meet him mid-way through the second half while standing outside when the fire alarm had gone off (at least you know they’re safety conscious at the theatre ; )

The whole thing is just superb for Northampton, and it was truly amazing to watch its residents really raise the roof last night (and probably every night)…don’t miss it!

The show runs in at the Royal & Derngate until October 6 before popping off to theatres around the country.

Tickets – priced from £16* – can be booked by calling Box Office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

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