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If The Shoe Fits

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Unity Theatre

23-26 June 2009

Returning to the Unity Theatre for a second year, Donna Price’s If the Shoe Fits is a story many women across the country can relate to. It is a comedy which borders on the side of cringe-worthy, and for this reason you’ll either love it or hate it.

Set in a shoe store, the comedy centres on the staff and their personal problems, whether it is a loveless marriage or a husband who’s playing away. The action moves to a 1980’s nightclub where, amongst other things, a perverse DJ tries to get one of the dim-witted girls to star in an adult film. It is also make or break time for the girl’s relationships with their better halves.

For a comedy, the humour in the show is not its strongest point. The jokes are clichéd, slightly obscene, and quite thin on the ground. One-liners about Gary Glitter and priests, although expected, were entirely tasteless. There are some little gems hidden in there though – a man with a foot fetish is one particular highlight.

The cast are generally good and consistent. It does take a while, however, for some of them to get in their stride. Price, who stars in the play as well as writing it, is worth mentioning, although she has a tendency to act slightly more childish than the role requires I feel. Praise must also go to Terri Nesbit (Chaz), who was excellent as the bitchy harlot.

The show is directed well by Richie Grice, who also plays the part of the homosexual Jamie, the owner of the shoe shop Twinkletoes, in a stereotyped way. The set is basic, but effective and utilised fully as it changes from the shoe shop to a 1980’s nightclub.

Price brings out emotion in her writing after the interval, making the second part of If the Shoe Fits a good deal better than the rest of the show as it is beautifully performed. It is one of the few times where there is an actual connection between the cast and when it works it does so very well.

However, at two hours, including an interval, the show could perhaps be shorter.

If the Shoe Fits, a hit for the Unity theatre in 2008, is Sex in the City on a budget!

- by David Jack


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