thu 13/08/2020

Shoes, Sadler's Wells Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Shoes, Sadler's Wells Theatre

Shoes, Sadler's Wells Theatre

Why did a witty man like Jerry Springer's RIchard Thomas do a limp show like this?

The Health and Safety number: You too can leave your 'shoe-fession' on the Sadler's Wells siteHugo Glendinning/SWT

Every time I go to Sadler’s Wells now I come out wondering if there’s something wrong with my hearing, so loud and numbing are their speakers. It’s a blight on a lot of shows, but on none more so than Shoes, because this is the first major London production written by that celebrated musical witsmith Mr Richard Thomas since his Jerry Springer, The Opera, and last night I missed probably half the words that I’m guessing should be the chief merit.

I would lay money that Shoes is not intended to startle with artistic merit but to sound the cash registers

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Hey, mean, mean, mean review. Of course Shoes had to be loud; this is ballet meets musical theatre, meets inventive fun. Come on. Every word was crystal clear and gloriously sung, especially by Adey Grummet, Tim Howar, Simon Gleeson and the magical Kate Miller-Heidke. Yes, classical ballet got the short straw, but that lissom, fluid dance that is the Sadlers Wells imprint had its moments and the sharp moves, especially when expressed by Ebony Molina in her sparkly shorts or her faux Flamenco frills, worked so much better thanks to rigorous ballet training. Shoes isn't just a girls' giggle; it is a witty, wised-up celebration of 21st century big city life. Maybe a tad too long, but different, entertaining, joyful. I loved it.

Sorry I was extremely dissappointed .To me the extreem diversity of shoe designs could have been better reflected in the musical score and equally contrasted in the choreography. As it is only the "trainer " sketches really fulfilled that.O.k it need not have been cliche classical matched with ballet slippers ,Billy Elliotesque stomping with Doc Martins but it just didn't monopolise on the talent that was there and deliver what it promised.A tad long? you could take 2 verses off most songs particularly the "Hush puppie".performance Odd that only 1 or 2 wore the oh so famous wedges during that number and what has "my lovely ass " song got to do with shoes? Go buy yourself the shoes you want instead of watching them!

I completely agree with you Ismene and think your review is very fair - my thoughts are not so forgiving: I just thought it was awful - I went for my little sister's 18th and so wanted to love it - but came out desperately disappointed. I counted many people asleep in the audience and was baffled by the standing ovation and squeals. You make a good point about the sound - I'd forgotten how few lyrics I heard and i suspect they had the potential of improving the show as what I did hear was mostly commendable.

Hi, can't comment Shoes the show but can comment on your views of Sadler's Wells Theatre sound system. As far as I am aware, Sadler's Wells is mostly a receiving house - this means that the majority of shows that they have will be by touring companies and it'll be those touring companies who will provide the set, deal with the lighting and set the sound levels so it'll be those companies wanting it loud. I guess all Sadler's Wells would be allowed to do would be to check that it doesn't exceed any legal limits but the final choice of how it'll sound will be the responsibility of the show staff - same as for the looks, running times, content and the rest of the artistic stuff that goes into a show. This would probably apply to their associate artists as well, I would have thought (if someone knows otherwise and is willing to share ...) That said, I have noticed a trend among shows over the years to make it louder. I guess it's a product of the portable music generation and all the people who have trashed their hearing from years of Walkman and iPod use.

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