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Great Leap Forward


Inspired by one of the great passions of the modern age, Shoes explores the gamut of footwear, from the highs of the Louboutin to the lows of the Croc. Composed by Richard Thomas, in his first large-scale production since the legendary West End and Broadway hit Jerry Springer - The Opera, and featuring the work of a team of leading choreographers, Shoes is a dance revue that sees life told from street-level perspective with wit, irreverence and affection.

about production

Shoes features choreography and direction by multi-award winning Stephen Mear (Mary Poppins, Sweet Charity, The Little Mermaid), acclaimed as “the best showbiz choreographer we have” (The Guardian). Alongside Mear, Sadler’s Wells has invited leading choreographers Aletta Collins (Bloom, The Tempest, Jesus Christ Superstar), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (zero degrees, Sutra), Kate Prince (Into the Hoods) and Mark Smith (Deaf Men Dance) to create dance numbers inspired by Thomas’ songs.

The cast of 12 dancers include So You Think You Can Dance’s Chloe Campbell, Mandy Montanez and Drew McOnie, plus Zoonation’s Teneisha Bonner, and Aaron Sillis, winner of the South Bank Show Breakthrough award for his role in Matthew Bourne’s Dorian Gray.

Shoes also features a live band and four singers including Olivier award-nominated Ali Jiear (Jerry Springer: the opera, On the town) and bestselling artist Kate Miller-Heidke, whose latest album went platinum in her native Australia in 2009.

There are also films by artist and music video director Tim Hope (videos for Coldplay and R.E.M and projections for The Mighty Boosh UK tour).

Director Stephen Mear says “Some of the greatest choreographers; Balanchine, Robbins and Petit were drawn outside their balletic domain to create work for musicals and the glamorous Parisian dance revue scene. For this subject matter, and Richard Thomas' unique yet wide variety of songs and music, the other ingredient had to be dance. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Aletta Collins, Kate Prince and myself, all have totally different variations of style, enabling us to bring to the show as much diversity through the dancers as Richard will bring through his wonderful music.


The Independent
""It's shiny, exuberant and consciously naughty. A high-spirited night out""
Daily Express
""As entertainment it is unbeatable! This vivacious, witty musical rips along like an express train""