Billed as a 'dance revue' that explores “the gamut of footwear" with musical numbers including “Vex in the City”, “Imelda Marcos Argues with the Nation” and “The Flip-Flop Paradigm”, Shoes is the first large-scale stage production from Richard Thomas since his multi award-winning but controversial 2003 hit Jerry Springer - The Opera.
Shoes is performed by a cast of 12 dancers, four singers (Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke and West End stars Alison Jiear, Simon Gleeson and Tim Howar), and a live band. Mear invited guest choreographers - including Aletta Collins, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and ZooNation’s Kate Prince - to create selected numbers for the show which blends a number of dance styles around the central footwear theme.
At last night's Q&A, chaired by Whatsonstage.com editorial director Terri Paddock, Thomas and Mear discussed, amongst other topics: the process of creating the piece, which features no fewer than 250 pairs of shoes on stage; the initial pitch to Sadler's Wells; why shoes are a metaphor for life (or is it sex?); how footwear affects dancers; and future projects, not least Thomas’ forthcoming opera based on the late “gold-digger” Anna Nicole Smith, which premieres at the Royal Opera House next year.
The pair also tipped Shoes for an early 2011 six- to nine-week season at the Peacock Theatre in the West End, prior to touring and an eventual return to Sadler’s Wells.
To listen to the full recording of the Q&A, click the 'play' button below; or to subscribe and download from iTunes, click here.