Shakespeare goes HipHop.
Schiedam, 10-09-1999. The opening night of Rapido: a HipHop play produced by Culture Coalition and Grünfeld Theatre Productions. Based on Shakespeares story about the King Lears myth. Culture Coalition, the producers, is what I would say a white-collars professional hustler foundation living on the subsidy they get from the government. And a couple of years they got on the HipHop multicultural bandwagon cause thats where the do is. Trying to bring HipHop on the theatre stages. In this production they picked some good HipHop artists to play a great story. It is a good play and it brings heads indeed to the theaters and I recommend you to go too.
But their culture still clashes with the HipHop culture. Helmert Woudenberg directed the whole play according to his principles and methods. The best example is how they did Baby Ys make-up: ugly as hell. Why was that?, I asked. It was because she has to portrait a rebellious image. That is the difference between a Rebel Without A Cause and a Rebel Without A Pause. Because she is the rebel does not mean that she has to be ugly. Or like the directors assistant giving Just 4 Fun instructions how to dance while she does not know jack about that breaking. With their promotional flyers they showed lack of understanding, imaging a HipHop label with compact discs. Powered with the slogan Shakespeare Goes HipHop. HipHop is not something you can do in a hot minute, it sounds disrespecting, because it is.
Thomas Elberts better known as DJ Kipski composed the music and plays DJ Asteroid. He did a good job but one thing the brother must get to understand, his technical skills are there but its also about hearing what sounds dope and what sounds not. His backspin set in the play did sound terrible. Please pick some other breaks, my man.
We knew already that Shakespeare was a wicked dude, this play is based on his story about the Celtic mythical King Lear. Felix de Rooy put it in a HipHop slang, with the help of the heads, I guess. To run it down: King Lear was a king who stands down from his throne, cause he is kinda wasted and tired with alcohol and drugs abuse, and gives his kingdom to his two daughters, Goneril and Regan, who are willing to play the game to get in power. The third daughter, Cordelia, aint down with it and is also in love with the son of the kings archenemy. So she gets banned and disinherited. Some stories go that Cordelia did inherit the kingdom after all and she reigned for five years before she was captured by the sons of her sisters. King Lear got in power with terror and all that gangsta shit, live by the sword, die by the sword. "When the chickens come home to roots".
After the heritage the two daughters are fighting for the power to be in control, with the same gluttony, greed and tricks their daddy did. In this play the kingdom is imaged as a record company Rapido and the fight is between Lady X (Jolanda Spoel) and Princess (Farida van der Stoom). These girls did finish their acting schools and are doing fine. Shockwave and I saw them and did not have to think twice: "We want to be actors too!!" Cause these women were looking fine with a capital F! Back to the story, X married Gangsta Rap producer Masta Gangsta (Majid Ghadiri) to gain more control in the company. Princess does the same trick with R&B producer Platinum Power (Clyde Lowell, Spookrijders).
© 1999 ART12/VanderHoek Publishing. All rights reserved.