NEILSON’S COLUMN (September 29, 2016): Terrific cast set Kinky Boots apart

Michael Neilson
Michael Neilson

I made a New Year’s resolution, funnily enough in the New Year, to go to the theatre more often and I’m really glad I did.

I’ve seen some great shows, the latest of which was Kinky Boots, currently playing at the Adelphi in London.

I wasn’t sure what to expect and, to be perfectly honest, I thought that a musical based on a true story of a shoe manufacturer in Northampton falling on hard times wasn’t exactly the sort of story I’d enjoy, but I loved it.

Imagine Blood Brothers careering headlong into La Cage Aux Folles, add a touch of The Pajama Game and that’s about as close an approximation as I can give you about the style of this show.

The music by Cyndi Lauper is uplifting and the book by Harvey Feirstein is both funny and touching while putting across a good message of tolerance and acceptance.

But what set this show apart for me was the performances of those on stage. The entire cast work their socks off.

I watched, as I do, for actors drifting off, because they’re not the focus of the scene, or for anyone who maybe stopped acting before they got to the wings (as I witnessed in a panto I saw this year). But none of that was visible and, as someone who spends most Christmases in Dame heels, I can tell you that the guys who play the Angels deserve a medal.

At the end of the performance, the cast and orchestra, who played wonderfully, received a standing ovation and as we left members of the audience were chatting to each other about what a good time they’d had.

The joy we all shared as we watched the story unfold was a testament to the abilities of all concerned. It’s one of the very few shows I’d like to see again.

Now from the sublime, to the ridiculous...

Those of you who read my column regularly may know about my travelling underpants, which were kidnapped while I was working in Abu Dhabi a couple of years ago.

Well, they have appeared again, this time in Dubai, where they are stalking the cast of Peter Pan.

You can follow their exploits on the Facebook page ‘Mike’s Pants on Tour’, where there are an amazing 9,000 people talking about them.

I would say “check them out”, but they’re actually striped. Ha!

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