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Did Kinky Boots stand tall with critics?

The screen-to-stage musical set in a Northampton shoe factory received its West End premiere on Tuesday

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Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage

★★★★

"in this glorious feel-good musical by Harvey Fierstein (book) and Cyndi Lauper (music and lyrics), those boots are made for walking, talking, singing, flouncing and wearing well above the kneecap."

"When I saw the show on Broadway, a sort of cod Anglophilia had seeped in... here, you feel an English story has been swamped in reverse by Broadway."

"If there's a weakness, it's this sense of transatlantic blandness allied to the easy moderation of the message."

Michael Billington, Guardian

★★★★

"where Made in Dagenham diluted its source, this show, which originated on Broadway, visibly improves on the 2005 film."

"Cyndi Lauper's score and [Harvey] Fierstein's book heighten the parallels between Charlie and Lola, both the victim of paternal expectations"

"The show is ultimately powered by Matt Henry as Lola... He makes you feel Lola takes pride in his profession."

Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

★★

"it might seem ungracious to give it a kicking. But a kicking I feel obliged to give it."

"It may at times look as colourful as a pride carnival parade, but you can hear the creak of the production-line."

"the tour de force comes from Matt Henry's fabulously accoutred Lola... whose diva-ish ways gives the evening a vital sense of drama."

Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

★★★★

"the whole thing canters along with engaging verve and vim, once a dull opening 15 minutes first quarter is done."

"Mr Henry, like his fellow drag artistes, gives a storming performance. Mr Donnelly slowly wins us round as Charlie. Amy Lennox grabs her moment as a factory girl who fancies Charlie."

"Best of all, though, are the boots. Well done the wardrobe mistress and the backstage dressers who squeeze the cast into various items of footwear."

Mark Shenton, The Stage

★★★★

"I'm happy to say I've changed my mind about the show since I saw its original Broadway production two years ago."

"It's a traditional enough behind-the-factory-walls musical, in the esteemed traditions of shows like The Pajama Game, but given a contemporary spin"

"And it is played with a lovely, loving degree of truth by Donnelly and Henry as they come tentatively to see the world through each other's eyes."

Paul Taylor, Independent

★★★

"Lauper's poppy, nicely varied - if lyrically straggly - score gets off to a sweetly tuneful start but really kicks with 'Sex Is In The Heel' and the Act One finale 'Everybody Say Yeah'"

"Donnelly is a terrific performer and he delivers his numbers with full-throttle finesse"

"But Kinky Boots too often feels as if it's what you'd get if you programmed a computer"

Ann Treneman, The Times

★★★★

"[Lauper and Fierstein] have achieved something remarkable: a musical about drag queens and shoes and the Midlands that is total box office family entertainment."

"The stand-out performance is by Henry... who struts his stuff particularly well in the best song, 'Sex is in the Heel'."

"Director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell doesn't let them put a stilettoed foot wrong."

Kinky Boots continues at the Adelphi Theatre

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