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York Festival of Ideas: The Shoe That Flew

A pop-art style of an old shoe with crushed bow on its toe. The image is split into four sections with different coloured backgrounds; the top left is blue, the top right is red, bottom left is yellow and bottom right is green. The shoe itself has been inverted to a grey colour, as has the outline of the tiled floor it is on.

Tuesday 8 June 2021, 7.00PM to 8PM

Speaker(s): Dr Poppy Corbett, Dr Rebecca Benzie, Dr Ben Poore

Take an imaginative journey through York’s multi-layered history with the first public reading of an extract from a new play, The Shoe That Flew.


Inspired by the records and stories of York Theatre Royal’s archive, the play explores the lost objects, props, moments and performances of York’s rich theatre history. 

The Shoe That Flew was written by professional playwright and academic Poppy Corbett and has lively, fast-paced action and comic scenes, as well as provocative commentary on how we as a culture conceive and make use of the past.

The play began with a pilot project exploring the theatre’s archives, carried out in 2019 by Rebecca Benzie of the University of York. The plan was to turn the archive findings - not just papers and photographs, but costumes and architectural features - into a play to be performed live by University of York Theatre students. However, due to the pandemic, Poppy, Rebecca, and project lead Benjamin Poore redesigned the work as a research and development process via Zoom. The full first draft of the play was completed in summer 2020.

Enjoy the first public reading of a rehearsed 25-minute extract, followed by a Q&A with the playwright.

This event is hosted live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.


About the speakers


Dr Poppy Corbett is a playwright and academic who currently teaches at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Dr Rebecca Benzie is a practitioner and academic who is Research Associate at the University of York and Associate Lecturer at the University of Exeter.

Dr Ben Poore is a Senior Lecturer at the University of York and Director of Learning and Teaching for the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media

Location: Online via Zoom

Admission: Get your free tickets at: