‘And Just Like That’ is written and performed by Mikayla Hall as Mia, the troubled and wildly talented seven-year-old, who has a big-sister named Margot (the Shoe Must Go On title celebrates that fact).
Mia is the talk of the town but her life is threatened by her family’s immigration status. Mia is the girl who tries her very best, despite being rude to everyone and being taken advantage of by her father. If her family’s situation gets too much, she finds a way to buck up her courage and bring about justice.
With a message about vulnerability, love and the power of community, Mia shows us why we should keep ourselves happy, to not take things so seriously. Mia struggles with feelings of abandonment and a blind spot in her bravery; when she encounters street thief Zach, her blindness is briefly lifted.
Mia shares stories of the insecurities she faces at her school and being wronged, while her mother shares her love for the beauty of Mia’s bright eyes and love for art. The combination of the three shares a message that Mia and her family will survive together.
A marvelous, uplifting production. The musical has a nice number where Mia sings to Margot about what she doesn’t have: her mother and her guitar. It is moving and has a very motherly quality to it.
Through Mia, we see that love makes you happy. Sometimes it even has to be that hard work, support and support of others makes you happy.
The message of the Shoe Must Go On can be summed up with a picture: when walking home from school Mia finds herself following a man walking home on his bike. We can see in Mia’s face that she does not know what to make of it. But she decides to give the man a few minutes to say goodbye and to help her walk home. What a perfectly innocent move. But just a minute later, Mia is being pursued by a man on a bike. She is trying not to run, but she can’t help it. Mia has so much happening in her mind and every moment of it becomes a scary one. She confronts the man on the bike, draws the gun on him and wrestles him to the ground. The man was just trying to say goodbye. But the minute she took the wheel of the bike, Mia found she could not take it back. It’s incredible what love does. With love you can do the impossible.
This production is marvellous, heartfelt and incredibly emotional. The talented cast truly makes you feel the ups and downs of Mia’s situation. And Just Like That, due to the adaption of the book, is performed in Norwegian without an English title. This can also get confusing to some.
What is Shoe Must Go On about?
I must say that the director of the play, Logan Reed, did a brilliant job. When I saw this show at just a couple of months ago, it felt less than cohesive. I must give him some props for taking a book and using it to create an environment that spoke for itself.
The live entertainment put on by an awesome team of female singers was also extremely effective. The strength and smiles that Mia’s friends shared on stage made me want to get up and dance.
This production is not easy on the eyes. It had some great performances and was full of energy. But if you are tired of live theatrics then you may find it a little too much.
However, if you are someone who likes an old-fashioned story with a message of love that made you feel the way Mia did and liked the idea of a story that was a little old-fashioned, it is well worth the price of admission.
Hands down one of the best shows I have ever attended at the Bletchley Park.
What should I do now?
There’s a short break in this show to get you excited for the bigger musical, Star Wars. You can also catch the performance on 7 June, but don’t be late! The venue is busier than you think. And You must check the web site if you want to find out your seats.