The Red Shoes, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Young Pleasance
Hans Christian Andersen (Novelist), Jo Billington & Will Feasey with Tom Norton (Writers), Ned Bennett (Composer), Jo Billington & Tom Norton (Director/Choreographer), Kathryn Norton-Smith (Musical Director), Rebecca Wilson (Assistant Director & Choreography), Richard House (Lighting Design), Oscar Maguire (Sound Design), Costume Design (Simone Jones)
Hannah Margerison/ Kieton Saunders-Browne (Der Erzhaler), Lucy Abraham (Mutter Oberin), Bea Maher (Novice), Eliana Franks (Young Lotta), Imi Hasna (Liesl), Theo Murchie (Young Jacob), Katie Walton (Teenage Lotta), Kishore Walker (Older Jacob), Ella Davis (Frau Pelzer), Sebastian Connor (Herr Pelzer), Rees Jenkins (Vagabond), Will Keay (Madame of the Hummingbird), Lauren Ziebart (Helga), Zenisha Peterkin (Berni), Josh Myers (Frau Minsk), Tom Anning (General Gruber), Miles Rosbrook (Franz), Fred Robb (The Pirate Adventurer), Eva Burton (Older Lotta), Harvey Byworth Morgan (Karl)
Running time

Amidst the smoke and lights of the stage Young Pleasance are stepping onto the EdFringe spotlights with their reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes. Created in only 10 days, this is a production that could only be possible with the 24 years of practise this ambition company possesses.

A classic rags to riches tale follows the smart mouthed Young Lotta(Eliana Franks) and her iconic red dance shoes through a catholic orphanage, onto the pleasure seeking dance halls where Teenage Lotta (Katie Walton) attempts to find her feet, before she makes it as an movie star (Eva Burton). All of this whilst Germany is on the brink World War II.

The entire cast performed with conviction and gusto, excelling particularly in ensemble numbers from Ned Bennetts original score. The production holds its pace and thrives from the energy of its cast - however the shoes that ‘cannot chose not to dance’ could have been seen to be dancing more in the latter half.

Overseeing proceedings was Der Erzhaler, played by the deviously talented duo Hannah Margerison and Kieron Saunders-Browne, turned the pages of the tale, enticing both Lotta and their audience to dance on through the piece.

The trio of Lottas each brought a different element to her character and her demise. From Eliana’s sharp tongued child, to Katie Walton’s rebellious adolescent and finally Eva Burton’s women trapped - the three performers drove the plot through to its unfortunate end.

Young Pleasance’s nurtured new talent have created a version of Andersen’s tale that is visually intriguing and a joy to watch.

Runs 4 -18 Aug