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'Her Majesty's Shoes', a show fit for a Queen!

The beginning of June saw us produce our brand new play for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, ‘Her Majesty’s Shoes’.

We were very lucky to have been awarded Arts Council funding for the project, as well as support from the local council.

The play was set in a Northamptonshire shoe factory, whose job it was to produce two identical pairs of shoes for ‘Her Majesty’. The factory workers eagerly set about their task, and told stories of when they themselves had met the Queen.

Our first job was to find the stories themselves, and upon asking local members of the public for their stories, we had an abundance of tales to tell throughout the play.

Once the stories were chosen, it was time to find our cast, and were absolutely delighted to meet lots of new actors during the rehearsal process, including the two that made it into the cast, Keith and Alexander!

Emma and Tim visited two local shoe factories, Sanders & Sanders and DB Shoes, who very generously donated fabrics and tools to us from their factories so that we would be able to reproduce the shoe making process on stage. They also took them on a factory tour, and both Emma and Tim got a good insight into the workings of the factory.

Rehearsals began, and our cast got stuck in to how to use the various tools that their respective characters would use, and we began to tell the stories of our locals. The show featured audience participation, and we were very grateful to have a few sets of volunteer audiences who came to our rehearsals and displayed some excellent acting skills. It was also Natalie’s birthday during rehearsal week, so in true British style, we celebrated with tea and cake. We think the Queen would approve!

And then the Jubilee weekend rolled around! Saturday 3rd June saw us perform at Kettering Arts Centre, and Irthlingborough Community Centre with some brilliant audiences, and even a chat with the mayor of Irthlingborough! It was a beautiful summer’s day, when naturally, we were performing inside. However, our performances on Sunday would be outside… or so we thought!

In classic British style, the weather decided to turn on us, and the biggest downpours of the year decided to arrive overnight. Thankfully the villagers of Stanwick, our first performance venue, all rallied round and we relocated the show to the village hall, where the villagers arrived dripping in Union Jack flags and full of jubilee spirit! Our last stop of the tour was Quinton Village Hall, which was packed to the rafters as we were the finale to their garden party event.

Sadly due to a waterlogged performance area, our show in Rushden Hall Park was postponed, but we hope to rearrange this soon… watch this space!

Once more we would like to thank everyone that made the show possible; our actors Emma, Natalie, Keith and Alexander, our venues, Lucy and Tash on tech, Flic and Dave for costume and tech supplies, and of course our fantastic audiences.

If you missed our performances but still wish to see the show, you’re in luck! Our first performance at Kettering Arts Centre was kindly filmed by Pete Hutch Media, and is available to watch on our YouTube channel. While you’re there you can also see our rehearsal videos, and a cast quiz to see who knew the most about shoes!

Click the following link to find our channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCysPE-4Iz_f6GAnyYLwZEBA/videos

Don’t forget to follow us on all of our social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. You can find us @loltheatre

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