Kinky Boots has landed in Birmingham, and you won’t want to miss it!

Ladies – put on your best pair of stiletto boots, and gents…do the same.  Because this March, hit musical Kinky Boots has come to Birmingham.

Part of a UK-wide tour, Birmingham Hippodrome is hosting the critically acclaimed show until the 23rd and it definitely does not disappoint.

Based on a true story that was originally told in a BBC documentary and then a 2005 movie, the show follows the fortunes of a struggling Northampton shoe factory. About to go out of business, the newly installed boss of the company decides to find a new market by making fabulous shoes for drag queens!

From curtain-up on the Tuesday night performance, it was easy to see why it has become such a phenomenon. The crowd (including a smattering of local drag queens) were immediately engaged, especially when we were treated to a first glimpse of lead queen ‘Lola’, played by the incredible Kaye Ushe, and her troop of angels.

Cue whoops of excitement and howls of laughter as they brought a whole factory-load of sass and glamour to proceedings, not to mention some exceptional singing and dancing. Acknowledgement must also go to co-lead Joel Harper-Jackson as Charlie, particularly for a stellar solo number in the middle, and also female lead Paula Lane for some hilarious comic moments.

In terms of awards, this musical has won pretty much everything there is to win, including multiple Tonys, three Olivier Awards and also a Grammy for the music which was both written and composed by Cyndi Lauper.

But this isn’t just any show with catchy songs and fancy footwear. There is a deeper side to the story that focuses on identity and acceptance. This is perhaps most poignantly portrayed in the relationship between Lola and Charlie, who despite being from very different worlds eventually learn that they are more alike than they first thought.

In the emotive song “Not my Father’s Son” both characters lament at how they struggled to meet parental expectations. With lyrics like “Look at me powerless and holding my breath, trying hard to repress what scared him to death”, it manages to deal with powerful themes alongside the sequin encrusted heels. Ultimately though, we are left with the positive message: that it’s best to just be yourself and accept others for who they are.

If this is the idea they are selling, then the Birmingham crowd certainly bought into it. By the end of the show the whole theatre was on its feet, clapping and dancing along to the closing song “Raise You Up/Just Be” as the entire cast gave it their all in a plethora of dazzling heeled boots.

Prior to the performance, Chief Executive of the Hippodrome Fiona Allan had stressed her delight in hosting the show and what it has meant to the theatre. She said: “The key idea of the show is to just be who you want to be, and this really resonates with us at the Hippodrome, and especially our project work in the community. For the first time this year we put a float into the Birmingham Pride parade and this featured some of the amazing Kinky Boots angels.”

So apart from promoting a whole lot of fun, this is a show that also promotes love and acceptance for all – more than enough reason to nab a ticket while they are still in town.

Kinky Boots runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until 23 March, click here to book your tickets now.

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