Each year, planeloads of American tourists land at London's Heathrow Airport and head off on their pre-packaged tours of the London sights. A tour of the Tower, a peak at Buckingham Palace, a stare at Big Ben as he chimes the hour.
And in the evening, there's the obligatory tickets to the great theaters of London's West End, where plays like Phantom of the Opera got their starts. The theater district that brought us (for better or worse) Andrew Lloyd Weber, and where theater is...well....theatre. They even spell it differently. It's the real thing.
Tomorrow the Americans will board tour buses and head off to Stratford Upon Avon or Windsor Castle, but tonight, playbills clutched in hand, they settle in their sacred seats to the best London thespians have to offer. They've paid through the nose, so this better be good.
And this year it's...Hoof.
No. Not "Hair" but "Hoof".
The new play at the Lyric is described thusly: "A pony’s owner is growing up fast and TV has taken over from riding. When the remote control is unexpectedly dropped within hoof-reach, the horse’s lonely life takes a new tack. Her secret, night-time viewing reveals cowboy films and amazing adventures. She begins to realise she’s not just a dumb animal and a quest for a herd, humour and a life without shoes begins…"
The pony's story is enhanced with puppets, tap dancing hooves and nostalgic TV clips of Black Beauty and Champion the Wonder Horse.
That's right, barefoot hoofcare promoted from the stage in London.
Tap dancing without horseshoes might not have the same effect.
Note: there's also an improv theater company in Liverpool called Hoof! so this can be confusing!
If anyone has seen this play, please check in!