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The Man In the Woman’s Shoes

From 11 critic and 10 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Masterful

About the show

In this solo show, writer and performer Mikel Murfi creates a tender and comic portrait of an Irish community, focusing on its bashful, solitary cobbler. More…

Just outside of town, cobbler Pat Farnon lives on his own, contentedly aging in the cottage in which he was reared. Join him as he walks the five miles into his 'metropolis,' populated with no-necked water diviners, sporting savants, loudmouths, and preachers.

Epoch Times

“Spot-on vocal ‘portrayals’ of birds, pigs, cows, and a Christmas turkey...Formerly a student at the famed École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, Murfi has the superior vocal and mimetic skills required to portray whatever he sets his mind on. But aside from technical facility—Murfi can go from a deep baritone to high falsetto when required—there is the heart and soul of an Irishman portraying some of his countrymen and women and their place in their world." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production "Murfi’s solo show, which he also scripted, follows a few hours in the life of the full-time cobbler, occasional farmer, and all-around stand-up guy Pat Farnon...The play is sentimental and as Irish as a Guinness garnished with a shamrock. But the words provide a welcome excuse for Mr. Murfi’s astonishing acting. In a scene in which three characters spoke at once, I could see all of them differently and distinctly...This is a high-top performance." Full Review

The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Utilising a vivid, uniquely Irish gift for storytelling, Murfi magics up wonders from a bare stage, with just his words to help him...There are playful echoes of Beckett’s 'All That Fall' in the long walk and eccentric characters Pat encounters en route. Murfi embodies them all...with distinction. He’s blessed with an intensely vivacious face, capped by cherishably mobile eyebrows...A modern classic in the making, I’d say." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "All Mikel Murfi has to do is walk on stage and the audience is captivated...Every movement has a purpose, and yet his performance never feels artificial or hammy. Not only do these characters come to life with ease, but they are instantly familiar as well...Philosophical without force-feeding any overarching theme or subtext...It is the humour and sweet earnestness that makes the piece not only entertaining, but also thought-provoking." Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "What's beautiful about this play is its honesty. There are no gimmicks—it's a heartfelt performance about real, ordinary, simple folk doing everyday, mundane tasks. The drama comes within Murfi's writing and his use of the Irish language, its pace, tone and deep understanding of how ordinary people use it...He makes the simplest of conversations and deepest of thoughts fold seamlessly into one another in this slick and powerful performance." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "'The Man in the Woman’s Shoes' is both hilarious and deeply moving with the most simple of story lines. Talent such as Murfi’s is rare to find – someone who can both act and write so beautifully that you feel your heart physically warming as the play progresses...It feels refreshing to sit back and enjoy the tenderness of Murfi’s performance without being on tenterhooks...It truly is amazing what a single person can do with some well-chosen words...A real joy to watch." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Murfi is a special case, a masterful storyteller who can enthral with nothing more at his disposal than a few assorted shoes...A delight to watch, Murfi has a rare ability to switch between voices and mannerisms at speed while keeping several characters distinct as they chatter, interrupt, and occasionally throw shoes at one another...By turns silly, surreal and sentimental, this is an ambling and somewhat aimless tale – it is the warmth and skill of the telling which makes it so enjoyable." Full Review

Ham&High Broadway

for a previous production "Murfi’s 75-minute one-man show is unashamedly nostalgic and sentimental...However, his physical versatility, ear for idiosyncratic, often poetic turns of phrase, and storyteller’s effortless command mightily impresses. Pat is intelligent, humorous, and articulate...Murfi is an astute observer of the region’s intersecting superstition and earthy common sense...It’s a persuasive argument for not overlooking those society pushes to the margins. A real gem." Full Review

The Telegraph (UK)

for a previous production "Murfi’s one-man play is surely the first drama ever to bring to the stage a pitch-perfect representation of a dying turkey...It is a work of great charm and affection for rural Ireland and its people, performed with astonishing versatility by Murfi, who has the burly physique of a farmer, but embodies everything from a bee to Kitsey Rainey - the ferocious football coach with a heart of marshmallow - with a supple energy that is entirely captivating." Full Review

Time Out London

for a previous production "The chat is so relentless that it’s hard to keep up at times. But the words, language and rhythms of everyday speech all carry a sharp ring of truth to them. It helps that so much of this is very funny...The story is a slightly corny fabulation, a yarn, an excuse for Murfi to wrap his arms around a community he loves...Murfi’s vocal dexterity and physical nimbleness allow him to bear an entire town on his back. And he does it with endless compassion and verve. He’s quite a force." Full Review

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "A one-man menagerie; Noah's Ark in human form. At the start of his self-penned solo show, he lends his voice to a whole barnyard...Murfi's a chameleon, capable of shapeshifting in a split-second or holding a three-way conversation with himself...But his performance – indeed, his whole play – does feel like a virtuosic turn, the sort of tour de force that steamrolls everything around it. He's so clamorous that you overlook writing that's heavy with blather and thick with sentiment." Full Review

Entertaining, Exquisite, Great acting, Must see, Masterful

See it if you want to enjoy the brilliance of the truly remarkable Mikel Murfi. His heartbreakingly beautiful one-man show is unforgettable. See this!

Don't see it if you don't like one-man shows, have trouble understanding Irish accents, or are not interested in stories that take place in Ireland.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Hilarious, Masterful

See it if This must be seen in conjunction with its companion piece, I Hear You and Rejoice. Kitsy and Pat are lovers for the ages!

Don't see it if You don’t like solo performance pieces, Irish humor, cathartic experiences.

Also Mr. Murfi is, quite simply, a genius! This is TWO of the season’s best... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Great writing

See it if You admire great Irish acting and admire storytelling at its finest. It is funny and a little sad but captivating.

Don't see it if You don’t like one man shows

Absorbing, Enchanting, Delightful, Funny, Great acting

See it if you love great storytelling. It's funny,simple, sweet and interesting. I sat there with a smile on my face the whole time.

Don't see it if you need big production values. This is one man and his body and his voice. He conjures animals, cars, Irish countryside and people! LOVED

Enchanting, Funny, Delightful, Evocative, Moving

See it if Cobbler goes on a walk to town and takes us on a gorgeous, romantic uplifting adventure. People & animals vividly portrayed w/great skill.

Don't see it if You don’t like solo slice-of-life plays. You prefer something darker and less sentimental. You want a set, music or props besides shoes.

Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if See a masterful performance and great storytelling as the actor seamlessly and distinctly transitions from character as he weaves his tale.

Don't see it if you do not want to see a play set in rural Ireland with all its associated vernacular.

Also Companion piece for his ‘I Hear You and Rejoice’ .

Brilliantly performed, Ambitious, Touching, Well written, Satisfying

See it if you would like to see an extraordinary actor deliver a master class in his craft—& the production & the script are very strong as well.

Don't see it if you have had enough local Irish color in your theater-going to last a lifetime.

Also I’m not a big fan of solo shows. Irish American myself, I feel Irish w... Read more Read less

Clever, Quirky, Romantic

See it if If you love a person who can write/tell a colorful story. Helps to have an Irish friend or family member to relate to his expressions.

Don't see it if You dislike one person shows that switch in and out of characters.

Also I love a good story teller so this appealed to me. Know that he switch... Read more Read less


See it if you like one man shows. A terrific performance. I wonder how he can keep up the pace.

Don't see it if you want an action packed show or you don't like character studies.

Irish village humor and culture, Versatile portrayal of multiple characters, Charming ethnic accent

See it if Mikel Murfi’s solo portrayal of Irish village characters focusing on the relationship between Pat and Kitsy, See before I Hear You & Rejoice

Don't see it if You want a more clear delineation between characters, think animal sounds are silly, or want a plot that goes somewhere.

Cast & Creatives (2)