Review: Hit musical Kinky Boots struts its sparkly stuff on Sheffield Lyceum stage

For the first 10 minutes of Kinky Boots the Musical at the Lyceum, I thought ‘well, this is going to be a letdown’.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 5:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 11:43 am
Lola and her girls in Kinky Boots the Musical

Then we meet the feisty and fabulous black drag queen Lola and her Angels, and the stage lights up. 

The story, based on the film Kinky Boots and very loosely on a real-life story, follows Charlie Price as he tries to save his family shoe factory. 

An accidental encounter with Lola gives him the idea to start making footwear for a niche market – men like Lola who want to wear women’s shoes.

Lola is persuaded to get on board as the boots’ designer and there are lots of personality clashes with factory staff along the road to launch the Kinky Boots at a fashion event in Milan.

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Kayi Ushe is amazing as Lola, fierce and fantastic, and brings real depth to the role, showing the sadness and determination of Simon underneath. 

Understudy Joshua St Clair does a solid job as Charlie but he rushed his lines in a key argument scene, making it hard to follow.

Paula Lane is charming and funny as factory worker Lauren, who finds herself falling for her boss, but her singing is hit and miss. 

The Angels are amazing and the ensemble work hard to bring sparkle and energy to the show. The finale with everyone in kinky boots is great.

Kinky Boots the Musical is at the Lyceum in Sheffield until June 22.