Writer: Kate Prince & Felix Harrison
Director: Kate Prince
Choreography: Kate Prince, Tommy Frazen & Carrie-Ann Ingrouille
Reviewer: Katherine Kirwin
The Public Reviews Rating:
Some Like It Hip-Hop mashes up themes from the classic 1959 film ‘Some Like It Hot’ and elements of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ with a dash of ‘Mad Men’ styling to create a tip-top toe-tapping, brilliantly executed piece of dance theatre. The plot follows the escapades of two central female characters Jo-Jo and Kerrie, played respectively by Lizzie Gough and Teneisha Bonner, as they are thrown out of the city for breaking the rules. So only one option is left for them, in true comedy style, they must dress as men and re-enter the city in disguise. Crossed wires, inappropriate affections, mistaken identity and love quickly pursue.
Primarily, the story is told physically through narrative-led dance pieces with the added assistance of the charming Narrator (Ross Green) and the beautiful singing of Elliotte Williams-N’Dure, and Sheree Dubois. The songs emote the characters’ emotions and lends another essential dimension to the production. It is a slight story, undeniably so, but the talent of the performers shines through in their dance execution.
The physical storytelling is slick and the energy seems boundless. There is some clever choreography which reveals their individual characters, I enjoyed the introduction of Governor and his male-dominated dictatorship, as he puppeteers the other male dancers into conformity. My favourite moment was the hip-hop/r’n'b mash-up ‘If I Could Be With You’ which demonstrated the comedy talents of the actors, their emotional intensity and the versatility of the dancers and the singers. However, the audience’s favourite moment was when the male dancer Robert Anker got semi-naked, all the high-school children went crazy and subsequently screamed every time he entered the stage, as if Justin Bieber was performing.
The talents of each performer in this show are intense, they dance, they sing, they act. The flips and tricks of Robert Anker and Ross Sands were captivating, and the smooth dance style of Shaun Smith as Sudsy Partridge was endearing, and finally, the Jack Johnson-esque singing from DJ Walde provided a really nice, different dynamic.
This is not just a lightweight piece of entertainment; Kate Prince has used humour and the accessibility of hip-hop to parody some of its less-flattering qualities i.e. misogynism, ignorance and violence. Natasha Goodwin’s performance of Oprah trying to break free from the sexist regime was fresh and eye-catching, and extolled virtues of female solidarity.
There were some moments where I felt the dance was overwhelming and slightly repetitive, and there were some narrative aspects that got lost; several audience members commented as they left about where a romance appeared between two main characters which escalated from nothing to full-blown marriage within the space of one dance routine in the final moments of the show.
In their own words “Some Like it Hip-Hop, Some Like it Not” why don’t you see it, and give it a shot?
Runs at The Lowry until Saturday 20th October 2012, then touring UK
Tags: Dance, Elliotte Williams-N'Dure, Hip Hop, Kate Prince, Lizzie Gough, Natasha Goodwin, Robert Anker, Ross Green, Ross Sands, Salford, Shakespeare, Sheree Dubois, Some Like It Hip Hop, Teneisha Bonner, The Lowry, Theatre, ZooNation