Looking into a mirror can be hard enough, but looking into a magic mirror-on-the-wall can reveal more information than we would ever want. In February, Elmwood School’s theatre troupe invites us to examine our own reflections in their production of Nancy Harris’ The Red Shoes, an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s cautionary fairy tale of the same name.
A modern and yet timeless dark comedy, The Red Shoes, opens with a magical shoemaker/shapeshifter who immediately warns the audience: “If you are looking for fairies, don’t hold your breath, because this little fairy tale starts with a death.” Karen, a 16-year-old orphan, has just lost her mother and shortly after the funeral is adopted by a family she believes to be charitable. However, seeing isn’t believing because she immediately realizes they are in fact avaricious and using her as a means to their own ends. The orphan’s plans to please her new family quickly unravel when she meets a strange and mysterious shoemaker who tempts her into buying a pair of magic red shoes. When she puts them on and begins to dance, she learns that the red shoes have a mind of their own, and chaos ensues. Complete with absurd characters, a topsy-turvy dinner party, a boisterous ballroom dance, and a magic mirror, The Red Shoes explores themes of temptation and redemption with wit and heart.
Elmwood Theatre’s talented cast and crew won eight Cappies awards for their production last year, The Light Burns Blue, including Critic’s Favourite Play. This year they present a haunting story full of magic and mischief that will simultaneously enchant and provoke.
Performances at Elmwood School, 261 Buena Vista Rd, Rockcliffe Park, will run from February 26 to February 29 at 7:00 p.m. and February 29 and March 1 at 2:00 p.m. Once tickets are on sale they will be available for purchase at www.elmwood.ca, and will be $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors.