Monday, December 20, 2010

Hip hop theatre

In the streets of Brighton, an agent provocateur and mischief maker, "a body without bones," cultivates arson and murder.

Dizraeli's rap drama, Bonfire Night, was reincarnated at the Pavilion Theatre last night, generating enough energy to power Brighton's Christmas lights.

The writer, a cast of teenagers and the relentlessly innovative youth arts organisation AudioActive earned their foot-stomping curtain calls.

There were a dozen young people in the play, first put on in 2009 with a cast of four. It's a modern morality play, a tale of the supernatural and its script has the satirical edge of Alexander Pope, interrupted by lyrical reflections on teenage life.

It would be harder to find a better example of arts for young people than this. Rappers Tom Hines (who did a guest appearance in the play as an incompetent copper) and Dizraeli work as tutors for AudioActive, a Brighton based organisation that's raised the status of hip hop in the city thanks also to the unremitting commitment of Adam Joolia.

I declare an interest. These men have given my teenage son life-changing opportunities. They prove the point of writing and composition, why you keep appointments, rehearse and what stage presence means.

Tom is one of the best freestylers in todays UK hip hop scene. He's been working with AudioActive for about 2 years. Two of the cast, Jamal and Mrisi, are also featured on the ITV Fixers Christmas single, Common Ground, downloadable on iTunes.  Bonfire Night cast: Tom Sissons, Jamal Ali, Mrisi Makondo – Wills, Emma Blu, Sam Maryon, Jordan ‘Rizzle’ Stephens, Sami Doleh, Dizraeli, Tom Hines, Alex Lynch with rappers Ryan Jupp, Alex Massarella, Jermaine Heat, Jake Bradford, Seeya, Ro Ocean.

Links to AudioActive, Dizraeli, Hines & ITV Fixers:
Hinesy Hines
ITV Fixers

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