Open Theatre performing in stage@leeds present ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’, a heartfelt montage of the best and worst days of people’s lives. This multiform performance involves monologues, interpretive dance and even visual recordings. All of the stories presented are true, predominantly belonging to the performers, and for this we commend their bravery. Whilst the raw emotion of some pieces was touching, delving into difficult topics such as death and illness, other stories we felt lacked a little depth.
Although they would doubtless resonate with many in the student audience, parts of the performance, for example the story of one girl’s flight to and arrival in India for her gap year, came across as rather predictable and unoriginal. This was also true of a video interviewee who claimed the worst day of her life was her ‘hangover after Tequila’…It was clear that the performance was attempting to use the power of contrast between profound moments and shallow pleasures, but this was perhaps too clichéd to have much impact.
the performance was attempting to use the power of contrast between profound moments and shallow pleasures
However, despite some elements leaving us a little indifferent, we did enjoy the comic tale of one girl’s drunken encounter with love, a sweetly simple and very recognisable story. In addition to this, the impassioned rap interlude discussing themes of mental health was innovative, engaging and honest.
Unfortunately, this intense atmosphere was subsequently dissipated by a lengthy dance interlude, during which the audience’s interest seemed to be waning. Perhaps our untrained minds could not fully appreciate the art and meaning behind these movements, but we have to admit to finding them long winded and a little awkward to watch. Yet it was clear the performers had spent a lot of time devising this piece, and their willingness to share such private stories was undeniably impressive.
Lydia Boucher and Anna Beketov