*This hip-hop musical (sunday 23 november 2008) drew crowds to east london's hackney empire in october 2007 when musician bashy took the lead role as the streetwise nineteen-year-old aspiring MC.
But although bashy has since left the cast. and despite replacement leads pulling out days before opening night, danny gayle and the new leader foundation pulled off the reprisal.
The production focussed on scenes from the original play but a clear thread authentic performances from the young cast. from the start they painted vivid pictures of the highs and lows of the party lifestyle.
Exploring the consciences of each character, the writing of singer and actor victor romero evans pricked the audience's conscience with tinges of humour and touches of tragedy.
In poetry and song, each character took turns to invite the audience into their world and the motivations for the choices they made. whether tackling sexual relationships, self-esteem, friendship, crime, durgs or violence, many of the gifted actors and actresses performed moving (mostly original) lyrics, with some outstanding vocals. ejiro in particular shone in dropping his brand of chritian rap in tracks such as daddy lord. motifs of youth were evoked rather than cliches.
With a funky house soundtrack, this musical was fast paced and engy. but more significant than the beats were the moral breaks where the causes of teenage angst were discussed alongside the role of parents and the community. while the audience were invited to interact with the talent show on stage, as they engaged with some profound poetry about identity, they were also asked if they cared enough about the issues presented to be role models. but the politics was intertainment as up and coming singer Ava B made a guest appereance proving that the talent in young inner city london is real on and off the stage.
The arts council and CCRJ support mind blowing decisions.
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