Kinky Boots at The Fugard is a great big “WOW!”

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MERE weeks into its run, and Kinky Boots at The Fugard Theatre has already been extended till October 27. Having seen the show this week, it’s very clear why: it’s phenomenal.

The South African original production of the hit Broadway musical (which also has a film version) does a perfect job of putting a smile on your face from beginning to end – along with a few jabs in the feels which will make you come over all deliciously teary and emotional, and more than a few outright goosebumps moments. If a piece of theatre can do all that, it’s already a winner.

Photo by Jesse Kramer

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The local cast performing this engaging story with so much relevance and so many uplifting and heartwarming messages of acceptance and tolerance, is incredible. Earl Gregory (oh sweetie, how you’ve grown up since Joseph!) is a superstar in the role of Lola/Simon. Not only utterly gorgeous from the bleached blond top of his head all the way down his dreamy physique to the tips of his high-heeled toes, Gregory has a voice you can barely believe is contained within that body. He was born to play this part.

Owning the stage as he does, the rest of the cast could pale somewhat alongside Gregory, but that doesn’t happen under Matthew Wild’s direction. There is that famous quote about Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels. That’s so cute: The Angels (Tshepo Ncokoane, Phillip Schnetler, Chester Martinez, Emile Doubell) do everything in platforms and stiletto heels, and they blew my mind with their jaw-dropping dance routines.

Lola and The Angels. Photo by Jesse Kramer

Namisa Mdlalose as Lauren is another standout performance: she plays the character with so much awkward charm, and her voice!

And then there is the set, designed by Paul Wills, complemented by Tim Mitchell’s lighting. Technically brilliant, they serve each changing scene perfectly, from factory to boxing ring, drawing the audience into that space. Musical direction is in the ever-capable hands of Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, with choreography by Louisa Talbot. Costume designer Birrie Le Roux must have had a blast with all that fancy footwear. While we are now accustomed to seeing the world’s biggest an best shows on local stage, this one stands out; the set, choreography and costumes are all newly-created by the SA team, and non-replica.

So yes, in a word: WOW!

Darren Craig as Charlie and Namisa Mdlalose as Lauren. Photo by Jesse Kramer

MORE INFORMATION

The story: Charlie Price has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, Price & Son, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair find that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible, and discover that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

This production has a recommended age restriction of no under 10 year olds.

Kinky Boots will be performed at The Fugard Theatre till October 27, 2019 on Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm with a matinee performance on Saturdays and on Sundays at 3pm.  Tickets starting from R180 can be booked directly through The Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or through The Fugard Theatre’s website. You can avoid the crush at the bar and order your drinks online at the same time.

There is a 20% discount for all Friends of The Fugard members (on certain performance days); a 15% discount for pensioners and 10% discount for students and block bookings. These discounted tickets can only be booked through the Fugard Theatre box office.

Photo by Claude Barnado

FEATURED IMAGE PHOTO CREDIT: CLAUDE BARNADO ©

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