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Last weekend I went along with a group of friends to see the musical 'Shoes' which was playing at The Peacock theatre in London. My friend had organised the trip and I didn't really know what to expect, although I love going to the theatre so was looking forward to an entertaining evening. We all decided to go with the theme of the evening and come out in our best or most outrageous shoes!
We had seats in the stalls, about 10 rows back from the stage with a great view. The theatre itself was quite small and cosy compared to some of the others I'd been to in the West End. I liked the set up of the stage - there was no real set but we had a clear view of the orchestra, who were sat elevated at the right hand corner of the stage.
The show itself was a collection of song and dance numbers detailing our intimate relationship with shoes, ranging from stilettos to Uggs and everything inbetween! Each routine lasted between 2 and 5 minutes. As with any show of this format there were numbers that I thought were pure genius and others that I didn't really get, though the ones I didn't enjoy were few and far between. One of my favourite numbers was one in which a young lady bemoans the fact that her sister, who had a slightly bigger shoe size, would borrow her shoes and ruin them. In the routine the lady details the revenge she will take should her sister do this again. I found it highly amusing and easy to relate to, as I too have a younger sister who likes to borrow my things.
Another great number was the one about a pair of wedding shoes, which had been passed down as an heirloom from generation to generation. The current bride is convinced their jinxed as any bride who's worn them has had things go wrong on their wedding day or with their marriage. The routine was enacted with a giant revolving photo frame through which the story of the previous bride was told. I thought this was very cleverly done, very entertaining and the choreography was excellent. The majority of the acts were cleverly written, very witty and highly entertaining.
The costumes in each of the acts were good but as you'd expect for a show of this nature the shoes took the limelight. I was seriously impressed with the ability of the dancers to dance in stilettos, particularly the men!!
The few acts that I didn't enjoy were I think mainly due to the fact that I couldn't make out the words that were being sung. This was nothing to do with the acoustics in the theatre but more to do with the performers not speaking clearly and the music for those particular acts being quite loud and drowning out the words.
I think the show would have a greater appeal to women, who I think tend to have a greater interest in shoes than men. The acts were in my opinion, heavily skewed towards the female members of the audience, although there were probably an equal number of men in the audience (they'd probably been dragged along by their other halves!) We did have a couple of male members in our group and they did say that it wasn't something that they could easily relate to or would have chosen to watch themselves. Having said that they managed to stay awake and even made it back in after the interval so that is saying something! It is also not a show that would have much appeal to children and having a quick scan of the audience I couldn't see any that had come to watch the show.
The show lasted for around two hours with a 15-minute interval. Although I quite enjoyed the show it certainly wasn't up to the same standard as some of the more established and longer running shows in the West End. However the price for the seats was not cheap - we paid £30 for a seat and for that price I perhaps would have liked to see something more. It was an entertaining evening nonetheless. The show has now finished it's run at The Peacock but may be playing elsewhere in the future. Overall - 3 stars.
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