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March 10, 2008 | by  | in Theatre |
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“Why do we laugh at someone falling over, for God’s sake?” asks an irate Jamie Burgess. “It’s a tragic thing. Imagine if you were the person falling over!”

Burgess is in the middle of a discussion with me about his new play, Shoes, which is being staged at Bats from this week until the end of March. At this point in the interview, in which we are also joined by actor Leighton Cardno, Burgess is explaining how his show contains elements of both comedy and drama by comparing it to a person falling over. Burgess is cracking us up until he describes the person falling over and cracking their head on the concrete. “The ending of the play is definitely the cracking the head moment”’ he tells me.

The play actually sounds quite interesting. Shoes is about a couple whose eighteen year relationship is tested when the wife, played by Cheryl Amos, comes home to discover her husband in her high-heel stilettos. The husband is played by Leighton Cardno, yet another actor of Shortland Street fame to grace a Wellington stage this autumn. He is quick to point out that the character’s motivations are not of a sexual nature, as I assumed. “It’s not something where he puts the shoes on and whacks off or something,” Cardno tells me. “It’s purely just… wearing the shoes.”

Weird. The play is helmed by Bronwyn Tweddle, yet another esteemed teacher from Victoria who is strutting their talents downtown this season. I asked Burgess and Cardno for a couple of words to describe Bronwyn. Uninhibited, driven and vivacious were the top words of the list, as any of her students would attest to in an instant. At this stage I seem to have lulled Burgess and Cardno into a false sense of security, because they offer up a few entertaining anecdotes from the weekend which I shouldn’t really publish. Suffice to say, the cast and crew have been having a good time, although Cardno is keen to tell me that Bronwyn has been “working her tits off.” I’m sure she would be flattered.

Fresh, fun and probably a bit kinky, Shoes is looking like a great follow-up to what has already been a very busy season of theatre. Be sure to check it out.

At Bats Theatre
March 11 – 29

What’s Hot?

The hottest thing in town right now is the buzz around Three Spoon Theatre’s March of the Meeklings winning the supreme prize at the Fringe awards last Sunday. Three Spoon Theatre are a group of Vic Theatre graduates. Well done, guys. If you’re looking for a good show to go and see, La Vie is my pick for this final week of the Arts Festival. Alternatively, Shoes has preview shows on the 11th and 12th of March at Bats, which should be a good, cheap deal if you’re feeling out of pocket!

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