Every footstep tells a story
The Shoemaker is a powerful story about resilience, endurance, power, and compassion with timeless relevance.
Isabella diligently shapes, stiches and creates shoes for people who have decided to leave their country to pursue a different future. Leaving a storm of hatred, injustice, oppression and war, a series of individuals journey off the beaten path in the hope of finding safety, equality, and freedom. But when they arrive in the promised land, they come face to face with a disgruntled King and soon realise that their troubles are not yet over.
An exhilarating fusion of Latin American, Persian, and Western classical musical influences weave together to enhance the storytelling, guiding the audience through this standing performance.
A compelling show that will stop you in your tracks.
In partnership with Oasis Cardiff and Fio
Supported by Pobl Trust
Cast & Creative
Once upon a time, that is both long ago and still happening, a Shoemaker called Isabella makes shoes for people who need to take difficult journeys. When Thandi arrives at her shop, distressed at having to leave her country, Isabella gives her the shoes and the confidence to take her first steps towards a new life in the neighbouring kingdom of Belotho. Meanwhile in Belotho, Roberto, a recently arrived traveller who wears a pair of Isabella’s distinctive shoes, is brought before King Duncan. In exchange for the promise of a new life, Roberto tells the King who made his shoes and where Isabella lives. The King, keen to stop the arrival of any more travellers, sends his knights Safin and Kholout to find Isabella. Safin and Kholout visit Isabella, arrest her and destroy her shop.
As they journey to Belotho, Isabella sings about the loss of her shop and how she will continue to fight for what she believes. As they travel, they see other people making difficult journeys and hear their stories. Back in Belotho, King Duncan reveals his hostility to the travellers who seek refuge and new lives in his kingdom, and then throws Isabella into prison.
From her cell, Isabella prays. In another part of the castle, Safin realises the wrong he has done. Having learnt from the stories of the travellers on their journey, he knows he can no longer support King Duncan’s discriminatory ways. Back in the prison, as Isabella feels overwhelmed and beaten, the other imprisoned travellers sing of the importance of the care and hope Isabella gave them. When Safin enters, to let Isabella out of her cell, it becomes clear that individual freedom means little when others are not free.