Printable CopyKINKY BOOTS
Gilbert & Sullivan Society of SA
The Arts Theatre
Until 05 Oct 2019

Review by Doug Phillips

Many of Adelaide’s musical theatre lovers have been eagerly awaiting the G&S production of Kinky Boots. Judging by the audience reaction on opening night, the wait has been well worth it. Kinky Boots is loud, well-paced and full of lively fun.

It did feel a little lack lustre to begin with, but soon found its groove, with the second half really hitting all the marks. Opening night jitters may explain the slow start, but once it was in full swing it swept along and took us all with it.

Ian Andrew delivers a polished performance as Charlie Price, playing opposite Ron Abelita as Lola/Simon, who is equally impressive. Anyone attending this show with memories of the movie in their mind might raise an eyebrow when they see Ron in this role. But only at first. Ron encapsulates the role of Lola/Simon with vigour and precision.

Ian and Ron are backed by a talented ensemble, with each cast member delivering well considered characterisations. Gordon Combes has done a brilliant job of ensuring there is no “fill” on this stage. Everyone has their part, and all parts are entertaining and believable.

Credit is due to the set design and construction team. This well-crafted set is beautifully designed and is as much a feature of this production as the cast. The impressiveness of its size and grandeur is only outdone by the impressiveness of its flexibility and functionality.

The orchestra in the hands of Paul Sinkinson are precise and tight. If anything, they were too loud at times, but that’s something the audio team will surely have right very quickly.

Choreography-wise, there’s a lot going on, without it being over the top (which could have been an easy trap to fall into given the storyline). Sarah Williams’ ‘Angels’ were exactly as fabulous as they should have been, and provided comedic as well as dancing entertainment.

Kinky Boots is a great fun night out at the theatre. It looks great, sounds great, and leaves everyone feeling great at the end.