Conceived by Ultz, Choreography by Kenrick 'H2O' Sandy, Music by Michael 'Mikey J' Asante
Blue Boy Entertainment in association with Theatre Royal Stratford East
Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield, and touring
You know the poem - Robert Browning - Pied Piper of Hamelin - but you probably have not seen it like this before.
These hoodies start cutting into the curtain with a knife, and eventually just pull it down on to a loud continuous beat stimulating the gang, some proudly labelled with ASBO, into a profusion of dance and athletic movements which cannot be believed - but they are there. They fill the stage with their activities, sometimes spilling off the stage into the front row, and leaping back by a rollover into another series of explosive movements.
Headlines flash up indicating that these hooded derelicts are paralysing the town with their destructive behaviour and nothing seems to be done about it. In comes a tall, athletic dancer, Kenrick 'H2O' Sandy, without a pipe, choreographer and co-founder of Blue Boy Entertainment who joins in with them at first, but comes to realise they are out of control. He is approached by four small adults with large pale heads, the town bosses, brandishing a suitcase of money.
He gets rid of the 'rats', the headlines praise the local bosses, and they back off from handing over their promised large amount of money.
It is not the story which carries you on, but the dance and the movement, all over the stage, in time to the thudding beat, until the finale indicates the strengths of this large group of talented individuals arrayed before us.
This is an ensemble production, and impossible to separate out individuals from amongst the dancer/athletes for praise.
Reviewer: Philip Seager