Playing to a fairly diverse audience, including those who I suspect don't frequent the theatre, Jonzi D's cast of eight wowed the audience at the West Yorkshire Playhouse last night with their performance of his rap opera Markus The Sadist.
Using minimal props and scenery alongside music, dancing, video and of course rapping and acting, lead man Bashy and the crew document the rise and fall of a skilled, young and conscious MC lured by all the trappings of being a successful Hip Hop artist (click here to read more of the plot).
The exaggerated storyline which includes a UK rapper making it big in the states (albeit with a fake accent) and then later having a forced frontal lobotomy to make him conform to The Company's desires (selling products and ideas to the masses) delivers a much-needed message to both rap fans and rap denouncers. Skills, friendship, family, respect, morals and responsibility are all explored through a highly comical, extremely clever and rhyming script.
Acting from the whole troupe is on point making for very believable characters and representations. Bashy plays both the 'nice boy' Markus and the gangsta Markus The Sadist (a reference to Marquis De Sade) with ease – look out for more of his acting skills. Irish comedian and rapper Rob Broderick brings bags of humour to the proceedings whilst Colleen Joseph injects high octane dance routines.
Composed by the award-winning Soweto Kinch, the music (a most important aspect in a production about Hip Hop) perfectly suits each different scene making Markus The Sadist into a genuine product of real rap fans.
If you thought visiting a theatre to see a play about a rapper would be corny, think again. These aren't actors pretending to be, these are real people doing what they really do – people with real skills. By showing up what is false and immoral in the world of platinum rap Jonzi D has produced a dazzling piece of theatre that will remind you of why you loved Hip Hop in the first place. A must see.
Read more at: Certified Banger