Kinky Boots is THE perfect night out in Dublin

GCN sent Michael Kuhl to Plymouth to catch a preview of the Ireland and UK tour of the much-acclaimed Kinky Boots. So how did it go?

The cast of Kinky Boots gathered around a pair of boots in a factory
Image: Helen Maybanks

Theatre fan or not, I think you absolutely should not miss catching Kinky Boots while it’s in Dublin this August at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. 

The show, which is full of incredible music, visually stunning sets, heart-warming moments, drag queens and amazing costumes will leave you with a smile on your face, as it did on mine. 

The story of Kinky Boots follows the unlikely pairing of Charlie, a factory owner who inherits a Northampton shoe factory from his father, and Lola, an irreverent drag queen from London. The musical follows Lola and Charlie’s friendship as they discover their similarities and help each other to create something beautiful with their lives. 

Kayi Ushe, who plays Lola, told GCN in a round-table interview: It’s one of the shows, especially in the way our show is cast, that you sit in the audience and almost every demographic is reflected through the cast, which I find is so rare. You come to Kinky Boots and you can see a character that maybe looks like you or sounds like you or has the same principles as you, doing incredible things by the end of the show.”

The show is really everything you would want from a musical, and it’s super queer. Although at times it could be seen as sentimental or cheesy, as musicals can, the inspirational aspects of the story outshine any fluff and the characters end up piercing your heart. 

The set is phenomenal. There are trap doors, conveyor belts, unexpected lights flashings, runways, and surprises around every corner. I was constantly thinking to myself – “how did this crew travel with all this elaborate stuff?”

The passion of this touring company shines through in every aspect. Joel Harper-Jackson, who plays Charlie, said regarding touring the show, “ We’re very lucky, every city and every audience brings something fresh and new, and in that way the show can’t get dull because it’s ever-changing, depending on the auditorium which could be bigger, smaller, or more intimate. I like being on the road, although it does come with its challenges.”

He added: “We’re never complacent, we’re always pushing it and keeping it fresh.”

On the significance of the show, actress Paula Lane (known for her role as Kylie Platt in Coronation Street), who plays Lauren, said: “When we come out of the stage door, we see so many different types of people, and its wonderful to see them embracing themselves and having the confidence to stand there in whatever gear they’ve decided to come in.”

Joel Harper-Jackson adds:The show really is such a beautiful way to go – ‘look, we’re all different and it’s fine, so lets just please be a bit kinder to each other, be a bit more open-minded, and the world will be a better place.’ The show has such a beautiful message.”

And I’d have to agree. Beyond the inspirational message, the show is just plain fun to watch and makes you want to cheer. Music, story, costumes, acting and set design all come together to leave you feeling happier at the end of the show than you did at the beginning.

As aforementioned, Paula Lane told us that people will often come dressed-up to Kinky Boots, so don’t be afraid to bring your best drag or your own kinky boots to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this August. Make sure to grab your tickets here.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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