The contemporary dance company, ZooNation have reassembled their surreal 2011 production of Some Like It Hip Hop. The hit show is back at the Lowry with a welcoming pre-show that presents a merger of The Kate Prince Company, The Lowry and 0161 Studios, to introduce local talent to the larger stage. With a medley of tracks including Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Bugsy Malone, The Spice of Life showcase warms up the crowd for the themes of intimidation and discrimination in a shadow of the main show.
Alive with slapstick, the adventurous piece written by Kate Prince and Felix Harrison, takes place in a city where books have been outlawed and women are second-class citizens. The tale follows Jo-Jo and Kerri after the two women have been discovered breaking the law, leading to their exile from the city. Choosing to return disguised as men, the women veil themselves in Steve Harvey suits with moustaches and ties to match, before heading back to show their worth. Despite containing numerous characters fighting their way out of darkness, the shadowy, regimented space does not darken the Lowry doors with a set utterly devoid of colour. Instead, the comedy is preserved by its visual jokes, expressive lyrics and charismatic characters that fill the space.
In a narrative that intermingles ideas surrounding Some Like It Hot, Mad Men and Twelfth Night, ZooNation open audiences up to an exciting world of dance with a simple message. Eight years after its initial release, its music and choreography remain fresh and energising to the audience, who are encouraged to partake in the show. In a reversal of the 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot, this joyful play on the classic remains rooted by its high-flying dance number and live musical performances. Motivated by its daring cast of impressively versatile performers, the show celebrates hip hop culture by including a variety of styles. From its krumping, tutting, locking, popping and breakdancing numbers, the show assembles a fantastic team who perform against an original soundtrack throughout the production.
ZooNation offers an accessible story with a warm and charismatic production teeming with humour and driven by the desire to entertain. Incorporating everything from beatboxing, gospel-inspired musical moments and the beautiful acoustic track Invisible Me; the show is awash with inventive style. Some Like It Hip Hop’s playful nature and reimaging of the classics brings a unique take of It’s a Man’s World that allows the women to go head to head with the boys and embrace the message of tolerance and acceptance through quality choreography. With seriously stunning moves by the elusive team and talented choreographers, Prince, Tommy Franzen and Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, the show reaches out to the broadest audience to join in the dance.