I saw Shoes when it first opened at Sadler’s Wells in September and I reviewed it then (you may recall that it was deep in the midst of my post-hair funk and my evening was much improved when I spotted two cast members in the audience). I’m not going to rehash it all here, but if you would like to read my initial thoughts, click here.
Funnily enough, my evening actually started in a similar way to last time (if you tilt your head and squint a bit). I was coffee shop hopping before the show, looking for a decent panini when I crossed paths with someone I was about 90% sure I recognised; Patrick Smyth, who was a swing in Hair and one of the extra lovely people at the stage door.
Unsurprisingly, the suspected sighting, put me in a sparkling frame of mind, made even better when I got to the theatre to find that Holly James (another Hair swing) was in the cast. (Patrick is also a swing in Shoes, but he didn’t perform that night).
The show has changed a fair bit since I last saw it, but I can’t quite recall the original, so I can’t give you too much info. My favourites were still there; the bed scene (Hush Puppies), the holy order of designer shoes (Desire: The Brand) and the cursed family tradition (Old Shoes). There was a new routine called ‘Old Cinders’ and the Sneaker Addict was a man rather than a woman. I’m not sure how I feel about that one, but then the girl who I saw the first time around was one of my favourites.
There were a few familiar faces in this cast, but mostly seemed to be new, at least they seemed to be without further investigation. Chloe Campbell returned and was fabulous, Alexis Owen Hobbs (who I already loved from Never Forget and Sweet Charity) also starred and really impressed me. I found my eyes often drawn to Holly James and while I’m sure that it was mostly because I knew who she was, she really was exceptional. The way she moves is exquisite. Flik Swan was also very good. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite catch who was who with the male cast memebers. Jack Wilcox was rather cute, so I recognised him at the stage door, but can’t quite recall which routines he featured in (though I’m thinking the ‘Your Mum’ glam tap number was one of them). Other than that, I can’t name names. The sneaker addict was good though, as was the hush puppy man.
If you do have the opportunity to see it at the Peacock Theatre between now and April, when it closes, I would highly recommend it. If you do see it, and he performs, say hello to Patrick Smyth for me…
Which brings me to the real highlight of my evening. It was indeed Patrick whom I saw before the show and I saw him afterwards as well, waiting for someone outside the theatre. As I got closer, I smiled at him and not only did he smile back, he said hello. As if that wasn’t awesome enough, he then asked me to remind him of my name. When I did, he knew who I was, surname and all! Thanks to facebook apparently, but even so, I’m still in shock. Those Hair chaps really are a lovely bunch. First Liam, then Patrick… Though I suspect Steel won’t be quite so, er, friendly.
Anyway, I chatted to Patrick briefly about the show and the changes since I last saw it, then moved along to the stage door to get a handful of autographs. It was a bit chaotic, with lots of friends and family hovering, but I got who I wanted and I’m rather pleased with the result given the fact that I almost didn’t bother with it.
I was going to carry on with my usual ‘in other news’ but I actually have quite a bit of other news and this post has already become surprisingly long, so I shall leave it here. I mentioned a few weeks ago that a random post was on the way, so I shall try and actually get that written at some point in the not too distant future.
So until then,
PS. After seeing the show I had a, perhaps unsurprising, urge to wear my ‘I saw the Sex and the City movie and bought some ridiculously unnecessary high heels afterwards’ to work on Friday. Probably not a urge I should have listened to, given that I ended up going out for lunch and walking far further than my feet were happy with (time really does wound all heels, and little toes – ouch!), but hey. At least it was the only night I didn’t have a show to go to and I did at least have trainers to change into for the journey home.
PPS. Also, rather excitingly, when Jack Shalloo tweeted about having seen Shoes recently, I tweeted back with the fabulous quote that makes the title of this post and *drum roll please* he tweeted back! Ok, so it’s not that exciting and all he said was ‘great line’, but I still get a buzz when a ‘celebrity’ tweets me back!