Tag: Prejudice

Kinky Boots Review

Kinky Boots Review

I saw Kinky Boots back in April. Briefly, Kinky Boots is about a guy called Charlie who ends up trying to run a shoe factory that is going under, to save the factory he invests in ‘a range of shoes for a range of men’. This is the first big show that I have seen alone and I definitely did not feel as empowered personally as I would if I were attending with someone (even though I was in my element); however, I no longer had the pressure of other people watching me. I have started to notice that if you are watching a show with family or friends then in iconic moments or scenes of certain emotions you exchange looks to see what each other are thinking. Seeing this show on my own allowed myself to think and experience the show without worrying about what the people around me thought about it, making the show mean a lot more to me.
The Story: I have always loved the story of Kinky Boots and I am certain it has inspired so many people, particularly from the LGBTQ+ community. The main message in the story is to be who you want to be and this does not only speak to members of LGBTQ+ but to everyone, hence Charlie Price who never wanted to be stuck with his father’s shoe factory. I do not think people realise how brave it can be to put the issues of a drag queen next to the issues of a “normal” man. There are so many risks of people becoming offended, people thinking that there is no comparison and drag queens face more prejudice. Personally, I believe everyone faces prejudice but in different ways and there should be no comparison into who deals with more. This is what I like about Kinky Boots; Charlie’s issues are talked about just as much as Lola’s. The show is about being who you want to be, it is universal and makes people feel equal.
Favourite Song: Soul of a Man has always been one of my favourite songs. I love the instrumental but it is the power in the words sung that attracts me to it. The song shows Charlie doubting himself and displaying his anger in the kind of man that he feels he is in that moment of time. It is a very honest and human song, it exposes the ugly side of who we are and the reaction of someone when they begin to notice this coming through in their personality. Charlie is a genuine character; he is one of the nice guys so to see him let all of this emotion out in front of our eyes feels heart-breaking.
The Performers: I love it when I really take notice of a performer in a show and with Kinky Boots I took notice of everyone which is a first. The ensemble dancers were flawless, one of the dancer’s heels broke and she proceeded to do a backflip and then dance on a conveyor belt without any faults and that was purely astonishing! I absolutely loved David Hunter’s performance as Charlie. I am biased as Charlie is one of my all-time favourite musical characters but I loved the way David Hunter played him, so much so that I found myself thinking that I have to meet him… so I did.
Comparison: I saw Kinky Boots on Broadway back in 2014 and in all honesty I thought the London production was far better. I connected more with the story, music and characters and the accents were far better! There were other factors to why I did not concentrate as much in the Broadway production, I couldn’t hear, I was tired and I was blown by the fact that I was in New York. Despite all of this I expected the London production to be disappointing but I have never been so proud of British theatre as I had been on that night.
Thank you for reading,
Sophie’s Bubble =D

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Partenope Review

Partenope Review

I saw Partenope performed by English National Opera at The London Coliseum. I must admit I don’t remember too much of the plot, it involved various love interests and a woman dressed as a man or vice versa. This review will be based more on the experience of seeing an opera.
Looking around the Coliseum the auditorium was very pleasing; it made you feel very royal and important. There was a digital screen above the stage that showed the words that the singers were singing. Of course, this is a great visual aid to anyone who struggles to hear, however, I did find it useful myself to follow the plot more accurately, unfortunately I did not discover this until towards the end of act one.
The set was very pleasing, much more elaborate than I was expecting for an opera. I do not know why but my first impression of opera was that they would just stand there and sing. I felt quite disappointed in myself for being in disbelief at the actual movement of the actors. All set was a very strong colour white and there was a long staircase that connected the stage to a walkway above the main playing area. I enjoyed the movement of the singers on the staircase and there was a particular character that fell consistently which became funnier than I expected it to be. I think this character was one of the main contacts with real life as far as I was concerned.
The main thing I have learnt from seeing this production is the impact the people you are with can have on your take on the piece. I attended the show with my 17-year-old brother and he is one of the last people you would send to see an opera, but he was open-minded so came with me. Needless to say he did not enjoy it. There were three acts to the opera and I told my brother that we could leave whenever he wanted to (which is something I normally have to have a strong stomach for as I always feel incredible guilty leaving early) and he decided to leave as soon as the first act was over. I did not focus on the plot as much as I normally would because I would get these ‘I don’t know what is going on’ glances and find it hilarious. I became more focussed on my brother watching on opera than myself watching an opera.
Being mesmerised by my brother watching the piece over anything stopped me from feeling anything towards it and this is a huge issue for me. I am very passionate about the feelings of performing and how you feel when you watch a piece of theatre so being in a position where I was not feeling anything made me feel very detached and created a feeling of dislike towards Partenope (the show, not the character) and if I am being honest, opera in general. I am, however, very conscious of the fact that had I been there alone I would have understood and enjoyed more and will be very happy to see another opera again. The singers themselves were faultless.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie’s Bubble =D