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The Red Shoes

Unity Theatre, Liverpool
November 30 – January 22

Author: Filippo Fiori and Lucy Fiori (from Hans Christian Andersen)
Director: Patrick Dineen
Producer: Hope Street Productions
Cast Includes: Harriet Leah Preston, Aiden Lee Brooks, Julie Langford, Mike Idris, Holly Wilson-Guy, Graham Geoffrey Hicks

1 hr 35 mins




The Red Shoes promo image

Link: Unity Theatre Liverpool official website

The edgier Christmas shows at The Liverpool Unity are always something to look forward to and this production of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes is no exception, proving that theatres don’t need a multi-figured budget to entertain children, just good honest storytelling performed by good, honest actors. The set and costumes are simple yet effective and a huge orange sheet is used superbly well in order to portray shadow motifs of the characters as they drift in and out of the tale.

In the role of Grace, a young girl obsessed with becoming a star who is given a pair of red dancing shoes on condition she remains pure of heart, Harriet Leah Preston demonstrates beautifully the corruption that selfishness can bring. Graham Geoffrey Hicks as Ralph, a comedian dog in this retelling, provides a credible conscience and is offset nicely by Aiden Lee Brooks’ Benny who demands far too much of Grace for his own ends.Although Julie Langford and Holly Wilson-Guy fill various roles throughout with some style, it is that of The Shoemaker, played by Mike Idris, who turns in the most memorable performance through mime which is captivating. One scene in particular, where Idris dances on a giant keyboard, is quite lovely.

If there’s one grumble it is that there is very little audience interaction and the packed auditorium is barely encouraged to utter an “ooh”, but overall this is a very fine production that wanders to the dark side of seasonal morality.  

Chris High

Link: Unity Theatre Liverpool official website



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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