Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for E.V.Crowe’s new play, playing for a strictly limited three week run at the Royal Court Theatre.

(c)Manuel Harlan.

WhatsOnStage: *** “ It feels as though everyone is playing it safe – you yearn for Crowe to twist the knife that one rotation further, reach a heightened state of calamity. One moment, involving a tussle and a sudden hint of violence, almost gets there. But it’s a mournful, quiet piece, carried by a masterful central turn.”

The Stage: *** “Vicky Featherstone’s production brings splashes of magic to the play that might otherwise feel a bit tonally one-note.”

Time Out: *** “Parkinson floats through the play in a dream-like haze, capturing the brittle brightness that comes with extreme sleep-deprivation, a manic older sister to all those adorably klutzy romcom heroines. ‘Shoe Lady’ is most powerful as an evocation of a specific feeling – of losing control of your life and wrestling fruitlessly to get it back.”

The Guardian: *** “Shoe Lady is entertaining despite its discombobulations, though it melts away a little too quickly afterwards, just like a fever dream.”

The Telegraph: ** “Destined to become a national treasure from the moment she first exuded that distinctive mix of warmth, vulnerability, intelligence and cluelessness in C4’s The IT Crowd, Katherine Parkinson has hardly put a foot wrong since. Yet, after her recent West End success with Home, I’m Darling, about a woman trying to inhabit a Fifties lifestyle, Shoe Lady, which has its similarities in its evinced disenchantment with modern life, feels like something of a misstep.”

The Independent: **** “There’s more than a touch of Beckett to Shoe Lady. Starring the excellent, brittle Katherine Parkinson as Viv, the shoe(less) lady, EV Crowe’s newest play is a queasily existential piece of work.”

Evening Standard: ** “Parkinson holds the attention, jump-starting each new twitch of the script with a brittle smile and an ironic intonation. She’s great, even in a show as glancing and slight as this.”

London Theatre.co.uk: *** “Parkinson is brilliant at combining a perky practicality with an underlying sadness; she brings remarkable weight to this crushing but seemingly slight monologue that transforms it into something memorably strange.”

British Theatre Guide: “On the surface, Shoe Lady is little more than a quirky, hour-long comedy solo (with brief appearances from friends) that beautifully showcases the acting talents and comic timing of Katherine Parkinson. The fact that it is directed by Vicky Featherstone and presented on the Royal Court’s main stage strongly hints that viewers should be looking a little more deeply for metaphors or social parallels.”

Shoe Lady continues to play at the Royal Court Theatre until the 21st March.

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