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  • Writer's pictureSophie Harkness

Kinky Boots UK Tour (Hull) Review


Hull New Theatre

Hellooo! Over the last couple of weeks I have gained a musical for my list of favourite shows in the form of Kinky Boots! Back in November myself and my bestie Lyndsey booked tickets to see Kinky Boots for the matinee performance on Saturday 16th November at Hull New Theatre. We booked seats F12 and F13 in the stalls for £51.50 each (including £1.50 commission) plus £1.20 delivery. On the way back from the show, we decided that we had loved it that much that we wanted to see it again! However, I was gutted to discover that the Kinky Boots UK Tour only had one week left so we booked tickets for the following Saturday evening (23rd November) which was also the last show of the tour. We booked seats MM20 and MM21 in the circle for £34.50 each (including £1.50 commission).

View from Stalls Row F

Going into the show, I didn't really know what to expect from Kinky Boots as I only knew that it had something to do with a shoe factory and drag queens but I absolutely LOVED it! Let's start with the music, which was SO GOOD! There were so many different styles within the show but I loved them all, from pop bangers (do people still say that?) lead by ​​Lola and the Angels such as Land of Lola and Sex Is in the Heel, to heartbreaking ballads like Soul of a Man and Hold Me in Your Heart. I also loved the routine with the treadmills in Everybody Say Yeah and I LOVED Raise You Up/Just Be, which had everyone up on their feet dancing along. The songs were all so catchy and I'm sure I've had all of them stuck in my head at one point or another over the last couple of weeks!

Joel Harper-Jackson and Kayi Ushe performed the roles of Charlie and Lola respectively and after watching the show twice, I can't imagine anyone else being a better fit for both characters! The character of Charlie seemed to come natural to Joel, who had an incredible voice and I loved his partnership with Kayi as Lola. I loved the way Kayi played the role of Lola and again, he had an amazing voice! Another highlight for me was the Angels, played by Connor Collins, Daniel Downing, Damon Gould, Joshua Lovell, Chileshe Mondelle and Toyan Thomas-Browne. They were all amazing and it was incredible to hear the power of them singing as a group. I was also SO impressed that they managed to walk in those heels for a full show, as well as casually back-flipping in them and I loved their costumes! I enjoyed the comedy Paula Lane brought to the role of Lauren and I loved Lizzie Bea as Pat. The whole cast were incredible and I loved all their performances! For our first visit, Nicola Avino covered the role of Marge/Milan Stage Manager, along with Scarlet Gabriel as Trish and Charlie Allen playing the role of Nicola and I enjoyed all their performances!

I loved Don's intro about not using phones and the reaction it gained from the audience, setting them up for a great night! I really liked the lighting throughout the show, particularly during Hold Me in Your Heart (although it was a bit blinding from the back of the circle) and I loved the overall production of the show. My only criticism of the show was that it felt as though Charlie went a little too far with Lola in Act 2 and it became slightly uncomfortable to watch although as I'm writing this, I'm realising

View from Circle Row MM

that was probably the aim of the scene! Oh and I LOVED the Angel (I'm sorry, I'm not sure which one!) who sung the lead on In This Corner! I also grabbed a programme for £7 and a pin for £5! The only problem I had with both trips was that the theatre was SO HOT, which slightly distracted from the show itself.

My first visit to Kinky Boots was in the stalls and although the raking of the stalls seemed quite flat at Hull New Theatre, it was still a perfect view from Row F! From close up, I was able to focus more on the performers' faces and I loved feeling immersed in the show. Seeing Kinky Boots from the back of the circle on my second visit meant I could appreciate the set and lighting more and I loved how different pieces of set were adapted for different scenes throughout the show. The audience was amazing on the first trip however, I have NEVER been in an audience as amazing as they were for the last show of the tour! I've never been to a cast change or a last show or anything like that so it was a totally new experience and I loved it so much! From the roar from the stalls as Don completed his intro to the cheers as the Angels made their first appearance, it was amazing to be a part of! The entire theatre was on their feet for the finale, followed by speeches from Joel and Kayi. Following the last show, we decided to go to the stage door where we met some of the cast who were all lovely! I'm not the best at meeting people at stage door but everyone we met was so friendly and patient when working their way through the crowd that was waiting for them. I particularly loved talking to Joel Harper-Jackson (with a glass of wine in hand), Kayi Ushe and Demetri Lampra but everyone we met was lovely and more than happy to sign programmes and take pictures! It also seemed pretty calm surprisingly! Everyone patiently waited their turn, giving the cast chance to properly talk to everyone and it was an all round amazing night!

Kinky Boots exceeded all my expectations by a mile and I'm SO happy I got to see it twice before the tour ended, even if I am a bit gutted that I'm late to the party! The show was so much fun but still held a deeper message running throughout and I was pretty blown away by how much I loved the show following both visits! I LOVED the music, the Angels and the entire cast, although Joel Harper-Jackson (Charlie) and Kayi Ushe (Lola) stood out with incredible voices and I also loved their take on the roles. I'm very much hoping Kinky Boots returns to the stage very soon and can't speak highly of the cast and the whole production!

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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