Callum Francis as Lola in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots.
Callum Francis as Lola in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots. Matthew Murphy

REVIEW: Kinky Boots is the right mix of high heels and heart

FORGET Dorothy's ruby shoes, it's Lola's thigh-high red boots that make magic happen.

The award-winning musical Kinky Boots opened at QPAC'S Lyric Theatre in Brisbane on Saturday night and, you guessed it, the show features a lot of sky-high footwear.

Named after the film of the same name and inspired by a true story, the musical follows Charlie Price, who is struggling to save the family shoe business and live up to his father's expectations.

Determined to keep the factory from bankruptcy, Charlie meets a fashionable new friend - drag queen Lola - who gives him the outrageous idea that stiletto boots made for men could save Price & Son.

British import Callum Francis, who spent a year as an understudy for the role of Lola in the West End production, helms an otherwise Aussie cast.

Toby Francis and Callum Francis in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots.
Toby Francis and Callum Francis in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots. Matthew Murphy

It's easy to see why the producers brought Callum halfway around the world - he makes the show and certainly fills those boots.

With powerhouse vocals and a strut to match, he commands the stage - which barely seemed big enough to contain his dance moves in Land of Lola.

But Callum is equally at home in his character's quieter, more emotional moments in Not My Father's Son and Hold Me In Your Heart.

Toby Francis and Callum Francis in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots.
Toby Francis and Callum Francis in a scene from the stage musical Kinky Boots. Matthew Murphy

With her big and boisterous personality and fashions, whoever plays Lola is bound to out-shine their co-stars.

Toby Francis brings an awkward charm to his role as Charlie and Sophie Wright provides some funny moments as shoe factory worker Lauren.

This show's central message of acceptance, supported by some fantastic songs by Cyndi Lauper, couldn't come at a better time for a country divided over marriage equality and the upcoming postal plebiscite.

Break out those special shoes and march yourself down to Brisbane to see this show while it's here.  

Kinky Boots is on now through October 22 at QPAC's Lyric Theatre.



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