Review: Kinky Boots at the Regal Theatre

Review by Tatum Stafford


Some may say Kinky Boots is the quintessential modern musical comedy. Filled with showstopping musical numbers, witty exchanges, incredible music (written by the iconic Cyndi Lauper, no less) and a sprinkling of tender, heartfelt moments, it has earned its spot in the musical theatre hall of fame.


Though Arise Productions’ showing of Kinky Boots does not mark the first performance of the show in Perth, it is fantastic to see that such a beautiful show is gifted a large audience at the Regal. And, to nobody’s surprise, this extremely talented Perth cast knocked it out of the park.


Zac Bennett’s portrayal of the heroic yet flawed Charlie Price was magnificent, displaying an admirable intimacy and allowing him to show off his killer voice. His foil, Manuao TeAotonga as the flamboyant Lola, was equally as mesmerising. As one of the most challenging roles in modern musical theatre history, Manuao rose to the occasion and delivered a sultry, truthful, and above all, hilarious portrayal of this fascinating character.


The supporting cast were a joy to watch. The vibrant Charlize Gosnell earned an explosion of applause after her hilarious “History of Wrong Guys” as Lauren, and Mia Simonette’s Nicola was confident and poised. Jamie Mercanti’s George was another highlight, as he delivered an array of one-liners and impressive baritone passages with ease and aplomb.


Some of the biggest stars of the show are its Angels, a troupe of gorgeous drag queens who sashayed across the stage like nobody’s business. A special shout-out to Helen Kerr (Moxie Heart) and Ben Todd (Sassie Cassie), two local legends on the Perth drag scene who were impossible to tear your eyes away from, and Matt McPharlin, another Perth drag legend (BarbieQ) responsible for this show’s vibrant and impressive choreography.


The mighty ensemble of this show carried group scenes and songs with an exciting energy and some gorgeous vocals. Bennett’s ‘Soul of a Man’ gave the ensemble singers a chance to showcase their pipes from behind the curtain, and it was one of the show’s most powerful moments.


Themes of forgiveness, acceptance and love run right through this show, and this cast did a spectacular job conveying these issues in a universal way that could easily be projected into 2021. The Arise Productions should be commended on producing a show with so many important and powerful messages for a large Perth audience – and doing so with such style.


Though it will only have a short run, I’m sure this glorious production will live in the minds of Perth theatregoers for years to come.


Images Supplied