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BWW Review: SHOE LADY, BBC Radio 4

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BWW Review: SHOE LADY, BBC Radio 4BWW Review: CORIOLANUS, National Theatre At Home

When EV Crowe wrote Shoe Lady for the Royal Court, little did she know that a pandemic would force Vicky Featherstone's production to close early. It's also probable that she didn't predict a mid-run meltdown would transform so seamlessly into a brilliantly dystopian, Alice in Wonderland-esque radio drama.

Katherine Parkinson's superbly realised Viv loses a shoe mid-commute, and from that moment on, she spirals from nightmare to nightmare amidst a rapidly moving world that doesn't stop or allow her to catch her breath.

There are many layers to Crowe's depiction of middle-class life and the merry-go-round that simply won't let you off to take stock. There are issues of contemporary parenthood, capitalism and privilege at play that is enveloped by Viv's fight-or-flight mode being triggered by the loss of the shoe.

With the knowledge that Chloe Lamford's set for Shoe Lady still sits in front of an empty Royal Court auditorium, there is something both bittersweet and inspiring about listening to the audio version. Whilst hundreds miss out on the liveness of Viv's horrible day, many, many more have the opportunity to experience jumping down her newly reimagined rabbit hole.

With Crowe's dynamite-fuelled prose and Parkinson's often absurdly driven Viv, this addition to Radio 4's Lockdown Theatre Festival makes for electrifying listening and a terrifyingly relevant assessment of what happens just before the pause you so desire actually happens.

Shoe Lady continues on BBC Radio 4 as part of the Lockdown Theatre Festival until 12 July on BBC iPlayer

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From This Author Shane Morgan