Adelphi – Kinky Boots

Guess who I met at the theatre?

The real Theatre Rat! I knew the moment would come one day. I wish I could enjoy the moment, but I am terribly scared of rats/mice. It appeared from just under the sound desk in the middle of the show very casually and attempted to run across the middle passage straight under my seat several times, but every time it approached I gave such terrible tremor that it ran back to the desk. I tried my best not to scream every single time. The theatre staff saw what was going on from behind and could not help laughing at my reactions. I tried to focus on the performance, but this little creature had all my attention.

 

Theatre

Adelphi Theatre is owned by Really Useful Theatres in association with Nederlander International Limited. Nederlander was covered in my Dominion Theatre post. Really Useful Theatres Group is wholly owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer and impresario of musical theatre. The Group operates 5 theatres in addition to Adelphi, which are London Palladium, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Her Majesty’s Theatre, the Cambridge Theatre and the New London Theatre. Really Useful Theatres Group was formed in July 2012 on the demerger of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatres management business from the production company that brings great maestro’s work to the world.

The history of the building goes more than 200 years in the early 19th century when it first opened in 1806 under the name The Sans Pareil. The theatre was built by John Scott, local businessman who dedicated it to his daughter, to display her many talents mostly in the leading parts.  In 1819 Scott sold the theatre to Mr. Jones and Mr. Rodwell who reconstructed the whole building and re-opened it as The Adelphi, running legitimate drama licensed by Lord Chamberlain’s office. The theatre was completely rebuilt in 1858 and showed Charles Dickens’s stage adaptations and other large-scale comic dramas. Theatre was refurbished in 1901 and ran mostly musicals throughout 20th century but continued to host drama and comedy. Adelphi was last reconstructed in 1930.

Interesting facts:

Actor William Terris was stabbed on his way into the theatre in 1897 by his jealous (and mad) colleague. He died from his wounds inside the theatre in the arms of his leading lady, and mistress, Jessie Milward. His last words were reportedly ‘I’ll be back’ and now it is believed his ghost was seen at the theatre and at Covent Garden Tube Station. I wish the ghost scared the mice away.

 

Plot

Performance starts with the scene at the shoe factory in Northampton, which is a family-run business for three generations and next in the line is Charlie Price, who unlike his father, grandfather and great grandfather, does not want to be in the shoe business. Instead Charlie moves to London with his girlfriend, Nicola, to start a career in real estate. But Charlie’s father passes away and Charlie has to go back and run the factory. He discovers that the factory is close to bankruptcy as nobody buys expensive out of fashion men shoes. Charlie wants to shut it down but feels sorry for all the employees who have known him since he was a little boy. One evening Charlie tries to protect a woman from drunk men who are harassing her. The woman turns out to be a drag queen, Lola, putting a show in a club in London with other drag queens. Charlie discovers that during the show drag queens wear high-heeled boots that are expensive, but break easily because they are not made to support men’s weight. Charlie has an idea to produce shoes for drag queens’ niche market and persuades Lola to create design for the “kinky boots”. The factory starts producing boots with the new energy brought by Lola and other drag queens as they prepare to present their new product at the Milan Fashion Show. But not everyone at the factory is happy working with the drag queen. Lola challenges one of the male workers, Don and as Lola completes Don’s challenge Don has to do the same, which is accepting people for who they are. As the Milan show approaches stress builds up and Charlie and Lola have a row. Charlie realises he’s been stubborn and tough, leaves a heart-full apologetic voice message to Lola and leaves for Milan. Lola forgives Charlie and makes a surprise appearance at the Milan show with the drags. The show is a blast, the factory is saved, everyone is happy!

 

Production

The musical is based on the 2005 British movie “Kinky Boots”. The book was written by Harvey Fierstein and the music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. The musical premiered at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago in October 2012. Alelphi Theatre has been running the show since its premier in August 2015.

Director:          Jerry Mitchell

Producers:       Daryl Roth, Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Cameron Mackintosh; full list

Casting:           Jill Green

jill@jillgreencasting.org

020 3627 4870

44 Russell Square, London, WC1B 4J

Kinky Boots had open auditions for children. Last major casting change took place in May 2017.

 

Ticket

Bought my ticket from the Really Useful Theatres website. £19.5 for the middle seat in the back row in the stalls. The view was good, sometimes had to lean forward to see the top part of stage props, but quite pleased with the seat, except for the mice of course.

Running time is 2 hours 20 minutes.

 

The Theatre Rat

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