sat 23/10/2021

Angie Le Mar, Soho Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Angie Le Mar, Soho Theatre

Angie Le Mar, Soho Theatre

The stand-up's return to the stage with her one-woman show lacks character

Angie Le Mar plays six characters in her one-woman show

Angie Le Mar, who recently celebrated 25 years in showbusiness, has certainly packed a lot into her life; she's a comic, writer, director, radio presenter and producer, and now has written and performs In My Shoes, her new one-woman show (directed by Femi Elufowoju), a collection of six interwoven characters.

It follows her first stage outing, as the writer of Do You Know Where Your Daughter Is?, a thought-provoking account of the sexual and domestic abuse of young women.

Her first character is the loud and brash American soul singer Falushilah Falashilay, whom we see in a shoe shop buying everything in several colours before her appearance on a daytime ITV show - “Is ITV a big network here?” - not a million miles away from Loose Women. She tells us: “You can tell a lot about a woman by her shoes.” How true, and as a starting point for a multi-character show, it's a very good idea.

No character is fully realised and potentially very affecting moments are left undeveloped

What follows are the deluded teenage wannabe model, Rebecca Star, who has changed her name from her father's for a very good reason and has to make a hard moral choice about money that comes from an unexpected source; the overworked and undersexed City executive Valerie, who kicks off her shoes and opens a bottle of wine the minute she comes home; the ex-offender Dupre, in hoodie and trainers, who is stalked by his best friend's ghost; amateur actress Samantha (she's Rebecca's Job Centre worker by day), fooling herself that she will be a great Lady Macbeth that night in a community hall; and Charmaine Lawrence, a cheesy but duplicitous lifestyle guru appearing on the same show as Falushilah.

Some characters work better than others. As Valerie talks about singledom and the responsibilities of owning a dog, the script becomes a clever and funny doublespeak - “All you want is to be stroked”, “I have to beg you to come” - and we realise she's talking about her sexually unsatisfying and lazy ex-boyfriend, while both Dupre and Rebecca have some touching moments. But no character is fully realised and potentially very affecting moments are left undeveloped.

Le Mar saves the best till last, however, as Falushilah returns in the guise of her appearance on the ITV show. As she riffs - unscripted, gently abusive and very funny - on what the front row of the audience are wearing on their feet we finally see Le Mar at her stand-up best, and the room suddenly bursts into life. For the first time there are real guffaws – and the realisation that if the previous hour had been done as this character it would have been a triumph.

  • Angie Le Mar: In My Shoes is at Soho Theatre, London W1 until 5 November
You can tell a lot about a woman by her shoes. How true, and as a starting point for a multi-character show, it's a very good idea

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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