“Hey Nonny Nonny, I’m feeling like some… honey…” Hmmm, nope, that doesn’t work. Dammit. If I was trying to write a hip hop version of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ I’d have got stuck right there. Not that I’d have attempted it in the first place. It takes a brave, brave soul to mess with the Bard. But the challenge didn’t scare the brothers JQ and GQ (Jeffrey and Gregory Qaiyum), who’ve developed the most amazing piece of theatre I’ve seen in ages – ‘Funk It Up About Nothin’’
I met the cast after the show last night at Carriageworks, where it’s running for the next week as part of the Platform Hip Hop Festival. It was one of those times when you know you’re supposed to be cool, but all you can do is gush something silly, like “OH MY GOD, YOU WERE AMAAAAAAZING!” Which they were. Funny, ‘cause yesterday I was reminiscing about my school music lessons and how awesome they were, and how I got kicked off the stage for showing off with a microphone (I was singing into it, nothing else, you filth-wizards). Maybe I should have stuck my ground, eh? They were so inspiring that I hung out with them all night, trying to soak up some talent.
Anyway, if you’re in Sydney this week you HAVE to see Funk It Up About Nothin’. That’s all there is to it, people. See it. Oh, it’s working its way round Australia and will even be in the UK really soon too. Keep your eye on the website and book those tickets in. Why? Well, not only do I have exquisite taste in theatre (oh shut up, Wicked is awesome) the show is 70 minutes of pure adrenaline, hideous outfits and some of the most incredible hip hop you’ll ever hear. Girls, you can take your boyfriends and know they won’t fall asleep like they did in the Lion King. Trust me
It’s even funnier when you know the original story and how much they’ve changed it. I was made to study Much Ado About Nothing at school and it’s always been one of my faves, but I think this one surpasses it… if that’s not too insulting to old William. Ah, nah, you know what? If he was still around, he’d have loved it too. He’d have peed his tights in excitement.
The cast of seven play all the roles here, as a DJ provides the beat in the background. The show revolves around Don Pedro (Postell Pringle), only this time, he’s a rap star. And instead of coming back from a bloody battle, Claudio (the truly awesome Jackson Doran) and Benedick (JQ) are members of his “crew,” who’ve just come just home from a tour. Hilarious! Hero (the cute and crazy Jillian Burfete) is a jaded lover who turns mean to get her man, and MC Lady B is her homegirl with some serious attitude. Dingleberry, Leonato and Don John are all played by the insanely talented GQ. This guy has too many outfit changes to mention and each character’s voice is different, obviously, so I can’t imagine how he doesn’t forget who he’s playing! Everything moves so fast. At one point I think he was channelling Mr Burns from The Simpsons. Brilliant stuff.
I’m hungover today, so I’m perhaps not getting my words out very well, but I’ll end by saying just go and see this show! Oh and if my raving isn’t convincing you of its awesomeness – check out this video!