The Broke 'N' Beat Collective

Written and directed by Keith Saha and Sue Buckmaster
Designed by Miriam Nabarro
Unity Theatre, Liverpool
4th - 13th February 2016

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Although I have eclectic tastes in music hip-hop has never been a particular favourite of mine, but I must admit I did enjoy this collaborative production by 20 Stories High and Theatre-Rites.

As well as hip-hop it also featured theatre - including some inventive touches - puppetry, which I staged in front of fellow children whilst in primary school!, dance, as illustrated by Ryan (LoGisTics), while wearing a cardboard box over his head and poetry, courtesy of Elektric - mostly vocalised but some are sung - are also on the cultural menu.

The music is served up by Beat-boxer Hobbit, who also lays on all the sound effects, which adds lustre to the show, as well as providing voices to the various characters on stage.

Many social topics are aired in relation to those directly affecting young people, notably puberty - apparently, due to a number of different factors, youngsters are experiencing this sometimes traumatic time at 12 or 13 years of age - education, and the archaic way it is still taught in schools, as well as the consequences of poverty

A report I read the morning after I saw this production detailed the prospects of more young people finding themselves abandoned on the street. Grim times ahead indeed.

Although these three issues are serious with a capital S they are thankfully infused with comic flourishes and a sense of perspective. Sometimes, despite all the hardships, things can get better for oneself.....

Following this run at the Unity The Broke 'N' Beat Collective goes on a British tour, ending in London in April.

For more information go to 20 Stories High and Theatre Rites

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