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Kinky Boots

When gentlemen's brogues are no longer in vogue, what is a cobbler to do?

Faced with bankruptcy due to competition from foreign sources, one small village's shoe factory owner embarks on a daringly different business strategy, ladies' shoes in men's sizes for the drag queen and cross-dresser market. A likely story? Maybe not, but a true story nonetheless.

First revealed in a BBC TV documentary back in 1999, the tale of W.J. Brooks Ltd of Earls Barton, Northampton, and its startling move into fetish footwear under the "Divine" brand inspired a successful 2005 film starring Joel Edgerton, Nick Frost and Oscar-nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor. From there it became a smash-hit, multiple Tony-award winning Broadway show with original score by Cyndi Lauper. And now it has crossed the Atlantic to reach London's Adelphi Theatre.

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