Sittin’ boppin’ to the DJ’s beats. Waiting for it to start. The atmosphere at Theatre Royal Stratford East is as matchless and distinctive as ever. What a buzz.
Whoever would think that an entirely rapped version of Much Ado About Nothing would be anything but try-hard and little more than cringe worthy? Concerned that it would be yet another piece of ‘Shakespeare appealing to the masses’, I wasn’t holding my breath… But how wrong can one person be: Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Funk it up about Nothin’ is pure genius.
We watch the story of Hero and Claudio, and Beatrice and Benedick unravel with no time to stop for breath – them or us. It is fast-paced yet clear, witty and exciting. Shakespeare’s tale of trickery is retold and re-imagined in this upbeat hip hop rap version and it is funnier than ever.
The entire cast’s talent and stamina is commendable as the six of them play 13 parts with no character being absent from the stage for a noticeable amount of time. The JQ and GQ’s direction keeps up with the up-tempo, quick witted lyrics. They are slick and the audience are constantly laughing. It is written to perfection. Yes Shakespeare’s original words are welded in there, but so well welded with the original rap that it seems highly appropriate to suggest, as Julie Taymor put it “…if the bard were alive today he might well be a rapper”.
Energetic and energising, I can’t fault it.
Theatre Royal Stratford East would like to offer all A Younger Theatre readers £10 tickets to see Funk It Up About Nothin’ for any performance up to and including 7 May. To get yours, just call 020 8534 0310 and quote ‘£10 ticket offer’
Funk It Up About Nothin’ is playing at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. Tickets can be booked online through the website. (Offer only available over the phone)