Entertainment

Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Kinky Boots,’ Henrik Ibsen’s ‘John Gabriel Borkman’ Get U.K. Revivals

The post-COVID U.K. theater scene is getting a boost with the revival of “Kinky Boots” and “John Gabriel Borkman.”

The Tony and Olivier award-winning musical “Kinky Boots,” based on the 2005 Miramax film written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, is written by Harvey Fierstein and features Grammy award-winning music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. It debuted at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre in 2012, bowed on Broadway in 2013 and at London’s West End in 2015.

The revival will be co-produced by the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich (Sept. 1-24) and Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch (Sept. 28-Oct. 22) and will be directed by Tim Jackson, who has worked earlier with the two theaters, having previously choregraphed their revival of “Made in Dagenham.”

“Kinky Boots” follows Charlie Price who has reluctantly inherited a struggling shoe business from his ‎dad, which he’s desperate to save. He unexpectedly bumps into a larger than life drag queen Lola, who’s looking for some sturdy stilettos. They think they’ve nothing in common, but as the unlikely pair ruffle a few feathers, designing some fabulous footwear for the factory floor, perhaps they do.

Jackson is staging the upcoming 2022 Olivier Awards Ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Apr. 10 and will choreograph “Merrily We Roll Along,” directed by Maria Friedman and starring Daniel Radcliffe, at New York Theater Workshop later this year.

Meanwhile, Simon Russell Beale will play the title role in Henrik Ibsen’s 1896 play “John Gabriel Borkman” in a new version by Lucinda Coxon at London’s Bridge Theatre (Sept. 24-Nov. 26), directed by Nicholas Hytner with set designs by Anna Fleischle and costume designs by Liam Bunster.

In the play, John Gabriel Borkman, once an illustrious entrepreneur, has been brought low by a prison sentence for fraud. As he paces alone in an upstairs room, bankrupt and disgraced, he is obsessed by dreams of his comeback. Downstairs, his estranged wife plots the restoration of the family name. When her sister arrives unannounced, she triggers a desperate showdown with the past.

Beale was last at the Bridge in “A Christmas Carol” and “Bach & Sons,” both directed by Hytner. Coxon previously collaborated with Hytner at The Bridge on the world premiere of “Alys, Always,” and her theater writing credits include “Herding Cats,” “Happy Now” and “The Eternal Not.” Coxon also wrote the Oscar-winning film “The Danish Girl” (2015) starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander.

Hytner was director of the U.K.’s National Theatre from 2003 to 2015.




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