Entertainment & Arts

Kinky Boots musical comes to London

Kinky Boots musical Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The show has won a total of six Tonys on Broadway and recently opened in Los Angeles

Broadway hit Kinky Boots is stomping its way over to London's West End.

Based on the film of the same name, it tells the true story of a Northampton shoe factory which turns around its fortunes by catering to drag queens.

It won best musical and best original score for its writer - pop star Cyndi Lauper - at the 2013 Tony Awards.

The London production will be staged at the Adelphi Theatre, which recently announced the closure of Gemma Arterton musical Made In Dagenham.

No cast has yet been announced.

"We are thrilled and deeply honoured to be bringing Kinky Boots back home to British shores, where this inspirational story is set," said producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig in a statement.

"The show is big-hearted and filled with joy and we trust that it will be warmly embraced by audiences in the UK."

Critics won over

The original film saw Chiwetel Ejiofor play a drag queen who forms an unlikely business relationship with the owner of a shoe factory.

It was itself based on a BBC documentary, Trouble at the Top: The Kinky Boot Factory, which was broadcast in 1999.

It followed Steve Pateman who, in his 30s, replaced his father as boss of WJ Brookes - a traditional factory in the village of Earls Barton in Northamptonshire which had existed for more than a century.

Struggling with changes in fashion and competition from abroad, Pateman had started to look for new markets.

He was persuaded by an unexpected phone-call to think about expansion into "kinky boots" - women's shoes in men's sizes for transgender people.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Made In Dagenham, which was drawn from similar real-life source to Kinky Boots, only lasted six months

It seems an unlikely inspiration for a musical, but critics were (reluctantly) won over when it debuted on Broadway in April 2013.

The New York Times called it "a shameless emotional button pusher", but praised its "zip and zeal".

And New York Magazine commented: "It's never boring. It's never shocking. You are likely to leave entirely entertained and satisfied. Can't argue with that."

The UK production will begin previews from 21 August, with a press night on 15 September. Tickets go on sale from 2 March.

There is no confirmation of what will fill the gap between Kinky Boots and Made In Dagenham, which closes in April after a six-month run.

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