Fringe Box



Review: Some Like it Hip Hop – G Live

Published on: 2 Nov, 2012
Updated on: 2 Nov, 2012

Some Like it Hip Hop – Photo Simon Prince

By Gill Perkins

Larger than life, louder than ever and weaving an extraordinary number of compelling threads together, Some Like it Hip Hop is a show that thoroughly deserves all the praise it has received from mainstream, arts and dance press.

Performed by the talented and irrepressible ZooNation, this is a piece conceived, written, directed and choreographed by founder Kate Prince, with original music by DJ Walde and Josh Cohen.

Prince is “strongly against misogynistic lyrics” and wanted to create a show that celebrated the great things about hip hop music whilst telling a story that’s part revolution, part romance. She and her team succeed brilliantly in bringing a potentially complex story to vivid life in a story that owes much to the classic movie Some Like it Hot.

Members of the cast from the talented and irrepressible ZooNation

The story is set in a dystopian city, run by The Governor, powerfully danced by Duwane Taylor, who has shut out the sun, burned all the books and put men firmly in charge. Women perform only menial tasks until two, Kerri and Jo-Jo, decide to dress as men and enter the world so far forbidden to them.

This results in excellent opportunities for comedy; from wigs and moustaches to manly chest-bumping and realistic crotch-scratching.  Jo-Jo falls for book-loving, sensitive Simeon, but cannot reveal who she is without getting into trouble. Meanwhile, Oprah, portrayed exuberantly by Natasha Gooden, turns up to work in the city and to try to reunite with her father – The Governor.

Wittily and poetically narrated by Ross Green, this is a fast-paced, beautifully put-together show where the quality of street dance and acrobatics is so high you can hear the audience gasp – and the knowledgeable dancers whoop and cheer. The set is deceptive in its simplicity, sometimes forming part of the choreography and producing one of the highlights in the sleep pod routine, which couldn’t be done without the outstanding lighting design that created mood and real beauty.

And if the story, the set, the lighting, the dancers and the outstanding live singers weren’t enough, we were treated at the end to individual dance-offs by each performer at the curtain, followed by a natty band and dance number which called for the whole audience to get to their feet and dance along.

As my companion for the evening – my 12 year old son – told me: “That was amazing. And definitely a great way to ensure they get a standing ovation every night!” Actually, I’m pretty sure they would get one anyway.

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