The Dukes Theatre - Lancaster
Ave Maria, break-dancing and a man in a strait jacket; it doesn’t sound like a promising combination.
But Rationale Productions managed to successfully blend the three in front of a live audience whose ages ranged from about 10 to more than 70. And everyone left The Dukes theatre with a smile on their face.
Quite an achievement. For someone like me, who has heard of but never quite got their head around hip hop culture, In My Shoes was a revelation.
With a soundtrack that combined the kind of rhythmic beat you might find accompanying rap, and dance moves that saw the five-strong cast spin, flip and skid across the stage, this high-energy production packed a real punch.
And while it delivered everything you would expect in a performance built around hip-hop, it also came up with a few surprises – like the break dance routine to Ave Maria… seriously!
That smashed through a few preconceptions.
Hats off then to the five talented Doncaster-based performers who put In My Shoes together to tell the story of an uneasy relationship between a father and his son.
In a last-ditch attempt to resolve their differences they attend an extreme therapy session where they are forced to develop their understanding of how it feels in another person’s shoes.
Nathan Geering was quirkily brilliant as the therapist, a sort of MC, who led the audience through the story. His dance routines were jaw-dropping – how DO you do those head spins – and packed with energy.
But he also showed enviable control as he incorporated graceful balletic, tai chi-like moves and emotional mime into one particularly moving performance.
There was never a dull moment, for the eyes or the ears and I went away having been education as well as entertained – a rare achievement in one evening.
And well done to the young people from Lancaster’s own Ludus Dance street crew who performed their new short piece – Ludicrous Evolved – as an introduction to the main performance.