Thursday, July 18

Kinky Boots – Crewe Lyceum

Crewe Amateur Musicals Society (CAMS) are gracing the stage of the Crewe Lyceum this week with their 100th Anniversary show and a performance of ‘Kinky Boots’ and it must be acknowledged that this is certainly a brave undertaking. Having first debuted on Broadway in 2013, with an original score by Cindy Lauper, Kinky Boots has won an impressive six Tony Awards. This interpretation, directed by Sean Johnson- Hargreaves is certainly ambitious and was performed to a very excited packed theatre.

Written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, Kinky Boots is based on a true story and tells the tale of Charlie Price who is presented with the challenge of following his late Father’s footsteps when he is forced to save the family business. He meets the colourful drag queen, Lola, who he eventually works with and has the shared ambition of saving the business through an innovative new idea in the manufacturing of a certain type of boot.

Michael Daws performed the part of Lola (and Simon!) and was a superb casting. It is obvious to suggest that it is essential to have stage presence for this part and he had it in abundance. His vocals were outstanding, and it was hard to take your eyes off him when on stage. Attitude, flamboyance, and the ability to dance in a very high heel, Daws was easy to watch. 

Sean Clark-Wilkinson (Charlie) was consistently of a very high standard throughout. Knowing when to pull back appropriately in the more tender moments of the show and managing to command the stage in others, Clark- Wilkinson is a versatile actor that would be an asset to any production. The performance of ‘I’m not my Fathers Son,’ with Daws was emotional to watch and they complemented each other perfectly. Clark- Wilkinson was also vocally outstanding.

It would be remiss not to mention Ian Wilkinson who performed the part of George at the factory. Wilkinson performed in a gentle and earnest way as he demonstrated support for Charlie. Such a performance was generous in the way it complemented the role of ‘headstrong’ Charlie.  

It was a lovely touch by CAMs to have a young Lola (Miles Clifford- Ball) and a young Charlie (Elijah Dale)- both confident on stage and surely future CAMs regulars?

With too many cast members to mention there was a sense of ‘togetherness’ on stage throughout and all interacted well with each other. ‘The Angels’ certainly put a lot of work into dancing with Lola in the heels and costume. Chloe Parr as ‘Lauren’ was a joy to watch- her solo parts were standout.

Rhianne Stubbs must be applauded for incredible choreography. On occasions it appeared an effort for all the dancers to be in sync but this needs to be balanced with the fact that at times the stage was very full. Choreography was a huge part of the show, and it would be remiss not to celebrate the effort required.

Kinky Boots is a fabulous story and one that will certainly continue to draw in the crowds. It is a story that requires a consistent energy on stage, and it must be said that CAMs did not disappoint. With a message of inclusivity and acceptance, this was certainly the show to celebrate CAMs 100th Anniversary.

Kinky Boots is on at Crewe Lyceum until 20th April 2024 and tickets are available from: www.booking.trafalgartickets.com

Reviewer: Angela Kelly

Reviewed: 17th April 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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