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BWW Review: TALKING HEADS: MISS FOZZARD FINDS HER FEET, BBC iPlayer

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BWW Review: TALKING HEADS: MISS FOZZARD FINDS HER FEET, BBC iPlayer

BWW Review: TALKING HEADS: MISS FOZZARD FINDS HER FEET, BBC iPlayerMiss Fozzard finds a new chiropodist and, in her 40s, single and resentfully caring for her brother as he recovers from a stoke, proves an easy mark for his old school manners, his attention to detail and his solicitousness towards her needs. The increasing frequency of her visits and her giddy, barely concealed, infatuation causes a bit of gossip at the department store in which she works, but there's only one thing worse than being talked about...

Soon the flattery demands a quid pro quo - a flattening in return, if you will - the foot doctor being something of a foot fetishist himself (if ever he was a chiropodist at all). While he continues to talk the talk, Miss Fozzard walks the walk.

It's all well done, Maxine Peake perfectly cast, much younger than Patricia Routledge in the original, capturing Miss Fozzard's growing confidence with just a tilt of the head, a hold of the eye, a wry smile at an intimate moment recalled.

What's missing - and this is unusual in Talking Heads - are high stakes. The baldy bloke from Stratford Upon Avon knew that audiences want lives, kingdoms, dynasties to be on the line when conflict arises or love supervenes. Even the comedies place characters in real danger of misery if things don't work out. But Miss Fozzard and her dirtyish old man?

One can't help shrugging a "So what?" at the transgressions, the taboos and the resolutions (a side plot of towering predictability doesn't help) so you leave Miss Fozzard with almost the same feelings towards her as those with which you started. Not something you can say about many of the heads that talk in this series.

Alan Bennett's Talking Heads is now on the BBC iPlayer.

Photo BBC/London Theatre Company


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