Kinky Boots’ run extended

Glenn Swart as Mr Price and Alexander Wallace as Young Charlie in Kinky Boots. The production has been extended for a final time due to the overwhelming response and will now play until February 2. Picture: Jesse Kramer

At the heart of the story is Vredehoek resident Glenn Swart who plays the role of shoe factory owner, Mr Price.

Swart is a seasoned performer in hit musicals and has been seen in Evita, Into the Woods, Porgy and Bess and Show Boat.

In Kinky Boots, he plays the role of a shoe factory owner, Mr Price.

His son, Charlie Price, has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory, Price & Son, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola, an entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos.

“The dad had expectations of his son and it just didn’t turn out that way,” said Swart.

He said this is a situation that many people face with their families.

Sharing his personal story, he said even though his mother believed in his dream, his father did not.

“I remember walking into the kitchen and hearing my parents arguing, with my father telling my mother that I wouldn’t make it in the theatre industry and my mom telling him that she wanted to give me the opportunity she never had,” he said.

Swart said he’s always been passionate about theatre and his father’s words cut him deeply.

“I still hear his voice in my head sometimes, but I was determined to prove to him that I could do it.”

He said even in drama school he was told by so many people, including his lecturers, that he would never play a leading role because he had plastic surgery on his face due to a car accident. “And yet I have played leading roles and won awards for them.”

He said there were times when he felt like he was not good enough.

“I did a lot of work emotionally and mentally, telling myself that I am good enough and I can do this. I was forced to believe in myself. I knew I could do it. I told myself that I may not be the picture book character that people want, but I can be the best that I can be. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it.”

Swart said the extension of the musical was a great feeling because it showed that their work was paying off. He said a lot of effort goes into putting on a production and it can destroy you when it doesn’t do well.

“The mere fact that people are coming back again and again is wonderful. I think the message of the show resonates with a lot of people,” he said.

He said the audience will learn from this production. “There are messages of hope and messages of love and encouragement to just be who you want to be. Accept people for who they are, which is very important for me,” he said.

The show was first brought to life on the big screen in 2005 before being transformed into a hit musical, winning six Tony and three Olivier awards.

This is the first non-replica production of the show, and is a brand-new South African original production.

The musical will be performed at The Fugard Theatre until February 2, 2020 from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm with a matinee performance on Saturdays and on Sundays at 3pm. Additional performances on Sundays at 7pm will take place from Sunday November 17 to January 5.

Tickets starting from R250 can be booked directly through The Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or through The Fugard Theatre’s website at www.thefugard.com

Tickets to the performance on New Year’s Eve cost from R470 to R700.

A ticket includes access to the performance, a welcome glass of bubbly, a glass of bubbly after the show and all the live entertainment on offer until the early hours of the morning.

The performance on December 31 starts at 9.30pm.