shoes-the-musical.jpg

Having cursed myself for failing to go and see Shoes the music and dance production during its initial run, I was delighted learn that the show had been extended until April - and even more chuffed to be given an invite from the lovely people at Irregular Choice, whose chief designer Danny Sullivan created custom footwear for the show.

The show, which is on at the Peacock Theatre in London is an energetic and highly entertaining look at the contemporary infatuation with shoes, charting its history 'from 'the highs of the Louboutin to the lows of the Croc'.

If you have even the passing interest in shoes you're sure to be entertained, as the lyrics are punchy and the choreography often outstanding. The show itself was written by Richard Thomas of Jerry Springer the Opera fame, so even those with no footwear knowledge (Thomas himself confessed to learning about shoes on-the-job) will find plenty to giggle and marvel at.

Danny-sullivan-irregular-choice.jpg

Before the show's run, choreographer Stephen Mear promised that 'dancing will take place in every shoe it's physically possible to dance in', and this is certainly no exaggeration: in addition to the stilettos, Ugg boots and flip-flops you might expect there are some impressive routines performed in flip-flops and even full-length skis! And if that wasn't enough, a troups of dancers also tread the boards in the notoriously non-standard shoes from Irregular Choice.

During the interval, Ms Shoewawa caught up with the label's designer and founder Danny Sullivan, pictured above, who was approached to design some shoes for the show. Sullivan told us a few things we didn't know about the brand, including the revelation the his Mum (who was also present in the green room) is responsible for the making of all Irregular Choice shoes in her factory in China! And also that he'd never designed for the stage before.

shoes-richard-thomas.jpgIn fact, designing custom shoes for dancers created a fun challenge for Danny, whose styles tend to include high front sections - a real design no-no for dance shoes, which have to allow for a bit more feeling and movement in the toe. But he got around the problem quite easily, creating fully-fuctional dance shoes (see above!) that were still recognisably Irregular Choice.

Most interestingly for us, Sullivan confessed that he doesn't have a particular favourite designer when it comes to footwear. "Lots of designers have good seasons"; he said "but nobody is consistently strong at the moment".  He's a tough man to please, it seems, but we approve of his commitment to doing his own thing, and of his reluctance to be led by trends alone.

Shoes will run till 3 April and you can book tickets here