The Reverend behind the Kinky Boots

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Louise Hill speaks to Reverend David Saint, co-author of ‘Boss in Boots’, a book telling the remarkable tale behind musical sensation, Kinky Boots.

A small village in Northamptonshire is one of the last places you would think to find a factory producing high heels for men, and a Reverend writing about it. But such is the unorthodox world of Earls Barton that here you find both.

Now a major musical and motion picture, Kinky Boots tells the story of Steve Pateman, the ‘Boss in Boots’, who is trying to save his footwear factory and expands into a totally different market.  

“I was a young curate in Wellingborough and Steve was in my youth club,” said Reverend Saint. “This was years ago and I hadn’t kept in touch but I knew who he was of course.

“I was at a party and Steve was there, along with others from my youth club. He mentioned he had been involved in a BBC television programme called Trouble at the Top.

“It told the story of his factory, threatened with closure and how he had invented kinky boots to keep the factory going. I thought his story would make a jolly good book but nothing more was said. Then of course the film came out and the musical came out and Steve phoned me.

“He said, do you remember a long time ago you said you might like to write a book and I said I would LOVE to write your story! So last year, last June I think, we started writing the story and we managed to get the book together and published in time for the national tour of the musical which started here in it’s home base of Northampton.

“Now the tour is going around the county selling out everywhere, as well as the book”.

David Saint

It is quite the juxtaposition to have a clergyman telling you about the creation of shoes for drag queens, especially when the Reverend’s ring tone is church bells, a stark reminder of Reverend Saint’s day job. Although he doesn’t use the story of Kinky Boots in his sermons, unfortunately!

“A lot of people do think it is rather strange that a clergyman should have written a book that is quite as saucy, but it is just about life. It is about human life. It really is wonderful, and it embraces everything”.

Kinky Boots has been on Broadway, the West End for over 1,400 shows and continues to sell out on tours all around the world, Manilla, Hamburg and Seoul to name a few. It arrives in Stoke as part of its UK tour, at The Regent Theatre, Hanley from the 29 January to the 9 February.

‘Boss in Boots’, the true story of Steve Pateman, which inspired ‘Kinky Boots’ is available online at bossinboots.co.uk from £12.50.

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