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Kinky Boots - London Cast Recording

CD REVIEW: Kinky Boots – Original West End Cast Recording

Writer: Harvey Fierstein

Composer: Cyndi Lauper

Reviewer: Ruth Jepson

Ladies, gentlemen and those who have yet to make up their minds – get ready for the musical delight that is the Kinky Boots: Original West End Cast Recording.

Based on the 2005 film, Kinky Boots the musical is pretty much a direct retelling of the same plot. Charlie Price (Killian Donnelly) returns to his hometown to run the family shoe factory following his father’s unexpected death, only to find that the factory has not been as successful as he has been lead to believe. The slow decline of the business is given the opportunity for a second chance following a serendipitous meeting with drag queen Lola (Matt Henry). Instead of making unsellable sensible brown brogues, the production lines start kicking out “kinky boots” for gentleman sized feet – as Lola describes them ‘two and a half feet of tubular sex’.

There are a lot of highlights on this cast recording. Not one song can identified as weak, and every one will have you singing, laughing or maybe even crying, and every member of the cast is so well suited to their parts that you can practically picture them in your head as you listen. The strongest singer is definitely Henry, and his songs blow you away with their power, gleefulness and general kitsch. From Land of Lola, a pure drag intro number, to Hold Me in Your Heart, a tearful ballad which will make anyone who has ever been dumped cry genuine tears, his baritone is an absolute joy to listen to. Also keep an ear out for Not My Fathers Son, a poignant musing on the relationship between sons and fathers, and In This Corner, an upbeat fight song between Lola and Don (Jamie Baughan). The chorus really get to shine in the super catchy Everybody Say Yeah and Raise You Up, both bubbly numbers sure to get the listener smiling and singing along.

Underneath the superficial story of sexy shoes and feel good moments is a real sense of pathos and a serious message. In a world where transvestite and transgender celebrities such as Eddie Izzard, Caitlin Jenner and Lily and Lana Wachowski are facing a real tug of war between acceptance and pig headed revulsion, the message of Kinky Boots is a timely reminder that we need to accept everyone for their unique twists and stories. As finale Raise You Up / Just Be reminds us – you change the world when you change your mind.

Album available from Sony Masterworks Broadway

Writer: Harvey Fierstein Composer: Cyndi Lauper Reviewer: Ruth Jepson Ladies, gentlemen and those who have yet to make up their minds – get ready for the musical delight that is the Kinky Boots: Original West End Cast Recording. Based on the 2005 film, Kinky Boots the musical is pretty much a direct retelling of the same plot. Charlie Price (Killian Donnelly) returns to his hometown to run the family shoe factory following his father’s unexpected death, only to find that the factory has not been as successful as he has been lead to believe. The slow decline of the business…

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