Stand ‘In Her Shoes’ at the Beecroft and meet Essex women past and present

IN Her Shoes is an “immersive audio installation experience”, presented at the Beecroft Gallery in Southend as part of the celebration of International Women’s Day.

It’s the brainchild of Michelle Barrington and Eleanore McCann of the Blown Fuse Theatre, who, in collaboration with producer Roxanne Carney and associate artist Alison Garner, are bringing the installation to Beecroft on Victoria Avenue on Saturday, March 5.

It is part of a wider tour which will visit six towns in Essex until July.

Michelle explained: “In Her Shoes explores concepts of identity, stereotypes and relationship to home via a 20-minute adventure that begins when you receive a pair of headphones and walk into a shoe store built for a person.

“With former Bata Shoes employee Joan as your guide, you’re transported back in time and along the way you’ll meet real Essex women, past and present.

“Like magic, the shoeboxes will transport you to the Bata Shoe Factory and Estate, the Marconi Factory, Kynochtown and the Thames Explosive Works. You’ll visit Zimbabwe, Jamaica and the Southend Seafront on an intimate adventure that will ask you “What’s an Essex girl? Wanna walk around in her shoes?”

In Her Shoes was made possible with funding from the Arts Council of England, the National Heritage Fund and support from the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch.

Eleanore added: “As Essex women we were outraged and tired of being linked to the well-known Essex girl stereotype. We wanted to create something that celebrated the diversity of women here in Essex and to show that the presumptions of Essex women known throughout the world are inaccurate.

“We researched and worked with women’s groups in Essex, including the South Essex African Caribbean Society, to find and hear real-life stories which then helped make In Her Shoes a reality.

“Continuing the narrative of the piece, we wanted to work with Essex-based creatives to bring the installation to life. We worked with immersive soundscape company At Swefn’s Edge to design the beautiful sound you hear, and set designers By Design to create the interactive boutique and shoeboxes you’ll find inside.”

The installation is free of experience.

To book your ticket, go to

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