‘Feet’ at the etcetera theatre is a one act play that sheds light on the difficulties of being a twenty something creative. Written and performed by Emma Brown and Lawrence Smith it is essentially an exploration of relationships; the relationship women have with men, their careers and the value of their bodies (specifically in this case, their feet).
Our heroine Lucy is an actress still waiting for her big break. She’s stuck in a toxic relationship with her boyfriend and her finances. She plays with the idea of having a sugar daddy but really is looking to get into prostitution without having to do any… prostitution. Enter the weird and wonderful world of foot fetishisation where she can make money by taking off only her socks.
Lucy’s first meeting with one of her new clients is where the writing really shone. Deciding that she didn’t want to show her face, Lucy shows up wearing a paper bag over her head telling the bewildered man ‘it’s my thing’ and as he proceeds to bathe her feet she struggles not to laugh, something luckily the audience didn’t have to do with her.
However, the delighted giggles of the crowd were snatched away as the show went on and we witnessed this woman being persecuted for the choices she’s made. Some of Lucy’s clients take things too far and the question of boundaries is shown to be a very difficult and important one.
Emma Brown gives a performance filled with light, letting us be the passengers in her journey of discovery. She showcased her skills as an actress throughout the hour from her comic, singing and even classical abilities. Lawrence Smith gave an equally exhaustive performance playing every other role in the play from sweet American foot lover to controlling insecure boyfriend, all with great confidence.
There is a lot to work with in the material Brown and Smith have chosen and they handled the subject matter with maturity and respect. Sadly, there were huge technical difficulties during the show meaning that the use of voiceover which initially was a clever tongue in cheek tool (think ‘Peep Show’) became frustrating as the audience wondered every time there was a long pause if something had gone wrong.
Brown and Smith dealt with these problems heroically and it was a testament to how good the show was that their performances never lost the support of the audience. There’s so much to explore in the lives of young artists, hopefully there always will be, and it’s a good sign when two artists as bright as these two prove that once again.