October 7th, 2012

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Some Like It Hip Hop, ZooNation Dance Company, Peacock Theatre, Sadler's Wells

Photo credit: http://toomuchflavour.co.uk/site2/some-like-it-hip-hop-extract-at-sadlers-wells-sampled-2011-review/

I saw this production originally in October 2011 and I LOVED it! I saw it again today (Saturday 6 October) and I LOVED it!

It is on at the Peacock Theatre for one more week (it closes on Saturday 13 October) so my advice is to catch it while you can! I am highly recommending the production to everyone, and in particular to people with children and teenagers, especially if they are interested in dance.

Cut and pasted from the Sadler's Wells website:

ZooNation Dance Company "Some Like It Hip Hop", Peacock Theatre
Thurs 20 Sep 2012 – Sat 13 Oct 2012

ZooNation’s Some Like It Hip Hop was one of the most successful new shows to hit the West End last year, wowing audiences and prompting widespread critical praise, five star reviews and standing ovations with its infectious “wit, heart and magnificent energy” (The Independent). Already following in the footsteps of its phenomenal 2006 smash hit Into the Hoods, Some Like It Hip Hop unites truly sensational dancing with a typically clever and engrossing storyline.

Fast becoming a modern classic, the show makes a triumphant return to the Peacock Theatre for a limited run before it sets off on its first UK tour, having been nominated for multiple awards including two Oliviers and a South Bank Award. With a nod to Billy Wilder’s film and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, it tells a comical tale of love, mistaken identity, cross-dressing and revolution; all played out in ZooNation’s trademark style of hip hop, comedy and physical theatre.

Directed by Kate Prince, Some Like It Hip Hop also features ground shaking original music by Josh Cohen and DJ Walde.

For more details on the production and to book tickets follow the link:

Raks's Reaction

This write-up was originally posted in October 2011, which was when I first saw the production.


I see a fair amount of dance but I rarely write about it because I am not really qualified to do so (I did both tap and ballet when I was a little girl but gave both up before secondary school). However, that said, there is no way I was not going to talk about THIS!

The energy levels for this show are off the scale. The dance is street, urban and cool (old fogey language - I am an old fogey!). The tricks that some of these dancers can perform are mind-blowing. There is live singing which is out of this world. Unlike a lot of contemporary and modern dance, there is a real story, with a proper plot, told in this piece.

It spoke to me for a range of reasons. The hero loves books, yet is not portrayed as a "geek". The character is played by Tommy Franzen, one of the real stars of the show, and the piece shows that reading broadens and enriches your mind. Women dress up as men, because they are no longer allowed good jobs in the real world. They do this and the problems this leads to are comically portrayed. It clearly shows that women are the equals of men and as good as men (which of course we are!). It speaks about urban protest, revolution and standing up against authority for your rights (come on the revolution!). It has "LOVE". It speaks about family - especially the father/daughter relationship - and single parenting. And it has more to say about Grief and what it can do to a person than Mike Leigh's Grief at the National Theatre (I am being 100% sincere here). It is packed to the brim with energy, passion and ideas. The audience reception both through the piece and, specifically, at the end, where there is a proper grand finale was the like I have not seen in a West End Theatre for a long time (this was because there were a lot of young people in the audience and a lot of BME people in the audience). This is the sort of theatre and the sort of show I want to see on full-time in the West End, alongside all the other long-running muscials. Also, just like One Man, Two Guvnors, it shows people that theatre is fun and a great night out for all the family.

I am highly recommending this show to people with children and teenagers, especially Black boys and young Black men. This is not a "Black" show as such, but the vast majority of the dancers and singers are Black or mixed race, and the show has a lot of Black attitude and culture built into its DNA. It definitely has Black energy and passion running right through it. It shows these young people that Black and mixed race performers can be the leads on a West End stage. I want children and young people to see theatre that makes them feel alive and happy and that makes them want to become performers on the stage. This show is it! It will show boys and young men that dancing is hip and cool and not just for sissies. That you can be a real man, testosterone filled, and yet dance like an angel, and that this is something to aspire to, not denigrate and laugh at.

On a personal level, recently there was a project manager post advertised at a small charity which specialised in boxing and martial arts. I have no issue with martial arts. I have a huge issue with boxing. After a lot of soul-searching, I did not put in an application. Whilst I appreciate boxing can teach you disicpline, keep you fit, give you a positive and constructive outlet, teach you respect for authority and provide you with good role models, boxing's goal is to hit someone else's head so hard you knock them out. Over time this causes irreparable brain damage. How could I promote and support that? This is what I would want to promote and support and sell. High energy, creative, mind-blowing dance, that knocks the audience off their feet and delivers a standing ovation every night. I want children and young people to perform not box (sorry, as usual, I have got on my soapbox!).

I will get off my soapbox and say - I am highly recommending this to children and adults alike, it is a fun night out for all the family at the theatre, the dance and the music is mind-blowing, and the issues dealt with make you think and use your mind. It has only one week left to run so book to see it now!

My Twitter review of the production today:
Rakshita Patel ‏@MycroftBrolly
#SomeLikeItHipHop @ZooNationUK @Sadlers_Wells. Talent and energy in this production off the scale. Simply superb. Outstanding. I LOVED it!
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Bring British Troops Home by Christmas, courtesy Stop the War


Stop the War have launched a petition to bring the British troops home by Christmas. I fully support and endorse this. I have signed the petition and I would encourage everyone to think about doing the same.

Cut and pasted from the Stop the War Website:

Afghanistan: Sign letter from military families to prime minister David Cameron now .

Petition to Prime Minister David Cameron

From members of Military Families Against the War supported by MPs, journalists, writers, artists, musicians and actors.

Dear Prime Minister,

Recent attacks on NATO troops have destroyed what passed for a strategy in Afghanistan. It is clear there is no prospect of an 'orderly handover'. All indications are the vast majority of Afghans want NATO troops to leave and leave soon. The occupation is the main cause of violence in the country.

It is unforgiveable to keep or send troops to Afghanistan for another two years in this pointless war. On current figures it would lead to the death of over one hundred more British soldiers, the wounding of hundreds more and the death of uncounted Afghan civilians. You must recognize that every single casualty is a real human tragedy for which those controlling the war are responsible.

We urge you to listen to the voice of the people and end the futile killing by bringing all the troops home by Christmas.

Follow the link to read 10 reasons why the troops should come home from Afghanistan by Christmas:

Sign and share the petition here:

The Stop the War Website is here:
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Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Fear!, Greenwich Theatre

Photo credit: http://www.rumpustheatrecompany.co.uk/future.htm

Cut and pasted from the Rumpus Theatre Company Website:

The world’s most famous detective in the world’s most thrilling case ...

Rumpus Theatre Company presents:

Sherlock Homes - A Study in Fear!
A gripping new play by John Goodrum
Adapted from the classic story The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The world’s most successful detective takes on the world’s most notorious villain ... Sherlock Holmes, brilliant, flawed and inclined to justice, finally confronts Professor James Moriarty, brilliant, flawed and wholly inclined to evil!

When Holmes arrives unexpectedly at the door of his old friend and colleague Dr Watson, at the beginning of this hugely entertaining new version of the classic Conan Doyle tale, he begs the good Doctor’s assistance for one final case ... and an exhilarating evening of mystery, chase, disguise and detection are the inevitable result, culminating in a breath-taking showdown at the tumultuous Reichenbach Falls.

Starring Ian Sharrock as Dr Watson and Nicholas Briggs as Sherlock Holmes.

This is the trailer:

Raks's Reaction

This is a relatively easy review for me to write. I saw Sherlock Holmes - A Study in Fear! at the Greenwich Theatre on Wednesday 3 October 2012.

First, I would like to start with the positive.

Major spoiler alert!
The "twist" that was new in this play was that it took the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and applied it to Holmes and Moriarty. That meant that Holmes and Moriarty were one and the same person, two sides of the same coin, the two extremes of personality, good and evil, both captured in one being. This play therefore told the story of the struggle between good and evil for Holmes/Moriarty's soul, would God or the Devil win in the end? I thought this was a very clever concept, a genius idea, totally in keeping with the Victorian and the Gothic setting and the narratives that were around at the time. I thought that the idea and the concept was definitely worth exploring and provided plenty of food for thought.

Nicholas Briggs as Holmes AND Moriarty was excellent. Briggs has played Sherlock Holmes on the radio and on the stage - there is a whole audio series where he plays Holmes - and so you would expect nothing less.

Next, the negative aspects of the production of which there were, unfortunately, many. Ian Sharrock played Watson as a complete and utter fool - a buffoon - and this was massively disappointing. I think Martin Freeman's portrayal of Dr Watson is bang on the money - someone who is quiet and unassuming and yet intelligent, loyal and trustworthy, steadfast and strong, a man of action and a man of iron. There is no way someone like Sherlock Holmes would choose as his best friend, loyal companion and sidekick, someone who was an idiot. To play Dr Watson in this day and age as a buffoon is just wrong, wrong, wrong!

Finally, the production was really let down by its lack of props and set. Once again, in this day and age, to have no decent props or set is inexusable. You cannot bring The Final Problem to life with one table, a few chairs, and little else.

In conclusion, I would not recommend this production because of the primitive and backward portrayal of Dr Watson and the lack of any stagecraft. That being said, I think the "twist" and the new concept at the heart of the play was very clever - genius! - and I would like other plays in the future to explore this further.

If you do want to see the play, it is now on tour, and the venues and dates can be found here: