Drawing: Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theat

kinky boots

“There’s no business like shoe business,” was the pun that a few reviewers couldn’t resist using after   Jerry Mitchell’s runaway Broadway hit musical Kinky Boots danced into the Aldephi Theatre in London’s West End this month. Adapted by Harvey Fierstein with songs by veteran pop star and activist Cyndi Lauper, it received 13 Tony nominations, winning six, including Best Musical and Best Score.  Based on the British film of 2005 starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and inspired by true events documented in the BBC’s Trouble at the Top:The Kinky Boot Factory, it tells the tale of  Charlie Price, (Killian Donnelly) the reluctant heir to a struggling Northampton shoe factory.  As he starts laying off some of the staff, one of them, the passionate and quirky Lauren (Amy Lennox) tells him that the only way to survive is to enter an ‘underserved niche market.’ A chance meeting with drag queen Lola (Matt Henry) confirms this and convinces Charlie that there is a future in flashy, thigh-length boots or as she salaciously describes  “two-and-a-half-feet of irresistible tubular sex.”

On the first Saturday after a successful press night I strolled to the stage door in my affordable 4B-pencil grey canvas sneakers-I’m such a slave to fashion-and waited with a sizeable group in a variety of footwear for the cast to emerge after the matinee. I did this sketch of Killian, Matt and Amy and hoped to get it graphed. A number of Lola’s Angels came out still wearing the remnents of stage make-up, so it started to resemble a Pride Parade, as did Matt who was very gracious about the drawing. Killian followed. He had signed a sketch for me before from his Olivier-nominated role in Memphis.Two done,one to go. I don’t think Amy was intending to come down, but Matt told her about my drawing. The security person, in a shiny pair of black boots beckoned me to the door and Amy, who had also previously signed one of my renderings was waiting for me.

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