13 April 2011

Shoes at the Peackock Theatre

The Peacock Theatre, just off Kingsway cheek-by-jowl with the LSE, is a sister theatre to Sadler's Wells and so dance features prominently in its programme. Shoes, a musical, would not be an obvious thing for me to do go but some friends had tickets and I was happy to go.

The poster proclaims "Shoes: The Musical" but that's a little misleading. It's more like an old fashioned variety show with a succession of song and dance acts.

The tenuous link between them is that they are all about shoes.

As with any show with many acts there are some hits and some misses.

A clear miss was the short song on Ugg Boots that had time filler stamped all over it. A joke song that failed to raise a laugh.

The two big hits for me were scene where dance took the lead.

In one, a single man split his time between three women dancing with each of them provocatively in turn as he moved from bed to bed. The dancing was expressive and sharply modern with the emphasis on shapes rather than movement. Good use was made of the beds as props to dance on and around.

The second told the story of a pair of wedding shoes being passed down through a family using a family photograph to do so. The people in the picture and the frame itself moved as they told each part of the story.

Overall I was a lot more impressed with the dances than the songs but that was fine as there was enough dancing to keep me involved.

The biggest negative of the evening was neither the singing or the dancing, it was the audience. Too many people act as though they are sitting at home by themselves watching TV and don't even notice how much noise they are making. And a polite Shush to remind them just leads to localised warfare. We moved seats at the interval.

Shoes was not a great show and I'd happily never see it again but I am glad that I saw it this once.

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