Young boys step into big theatre shoes

Travis Turner as young Lola.

Travis Turner, 9, from Rondebosch and Alexander Wallace, 10, from Newlands have landed roles in a hit musical.

Travis plays the young version of Lola, a drag queen, and Alexander plays the younger version of Charlie Price, a shoe factory owner, in Kinky Boots, which is on at the Fugard Theatre.

Charlie Price (Darren Craig) reluctantly inherits his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to save the family business, he finds inspiration in the form of drag queen Lola (Earl Gregory), who is in need of some robust stilettos.

Kinky Boots is based on the 2005 film. It features a Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper and the book of the musical was written by four-time Tony winner, Harvey Fierstein.

This is Travis’s first professional play. He previously played a role in Narnia for Bishop’s prep school. He says he enjoyed playing young Lola – a role that sees him do some dancing in a pair of red heels.

“I just had one stumble; once you practise more in heels, you get used to it, and it gets easier.”

Alexander says his character, young Charlie, does not want to make shoes.

“He is not sure what he wants to do, his father wants him to make shoes, but he doesn’t want to do it.”

Earl says Travis puts a lot of effort into everything he does and is very detailed with his portrayal of young Lola.

Alexander has previously ap-
peared in Artscape’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Tiger Bay. He attends the International School Cape Town and the Waterfront Theatre School .

Darren says working with Alex and all the young actors that portray Charlie has been an exciting experience.

Travis’s mother, Annoleen Turner, says her son enjoys dancing, singing and acting and is born for theatre.

“When he was 6, he performed a solo dance at his school, Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal. He wore the costume, did rehearsals and practised all by himself for the solo.”

Annoleen says her shoe size is the same as her son’s, so Travis practised in her heels to help him get into character.

Kinky Boots is on at The Fugard Theatre until October 27 from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8pm with a matinee performance on Saturdays and Sundays.

There is a recommended age restriction of 10 years and older with parental supervision. Tickets can be booked directly through The Fugard Theatre box office at 021 461 4554 or through www.thefugard.com