Shoe Lady Tries To Make You Feel Sympathy For A Middle Class Estate Agent
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It's hard to know where your sympathies should lie in society but it's rarely with the hand dealt to a white middle-class estate agent. Waitrose hovering, Mumsnet questioning and liberal angst riddled, they're not exactly crying out for our empathy. Sick of the concept of the middle-classes being a joke, E.V. Crowe has written this queasy punch line and it's a zinger.
It's certainly an odd play, a surreal Samuel Becket styled piece about a woman who loses a shoe on her way to work. Hobbling along, she recites what's almost a monologue in which her terror and despair slowly surface. It might sound utterly unappealing but it's actually a peculiar delight. The rhythm of the poetic script beguiles and soothes, winking cheekily whilst also delivering a sneaky slap across the face.
Katherine Parkinson's eerie doll-like faces draw the eye in a trick laden staging and there's something hypnotic about her sixty-five minutes of owning the stage. It's a Royal Court tradition to challenge the perceived norm and whilst this play leaves you feeling like it could have offered more, it's certainly a timely shake-up of perceived notions that's entire watchable.
Shoe Lady, The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS, £12-49. Until 21 March
Last Updated 11 March 2020