INTERVIEW | BEATS AND ELEMENTS TALK TO US ABOUT LATEST THEATRE PRODUCTION ‘HIGH RISE eSTATE OF MIND’

ESTATE

 A new show that explores why we need safe clean homes for all and shared fairly, told through beats and songs, using liv­ing loop­ing and beat­box­ing.Set in the future and now (although now is pretty much the Vic­tori­an age with added food­banks), it explores the cur­rent hous­ing crisis, and the psy­cho­lo­gic­al effects and anxi­et­ies that our homes (or lack of) have on us.

Told by a young-ish cast who are all dream­ing about hav­ing their own place one day, it asks what hap­pens when we move fur­ther away from the ground and our roots? We meet the cast behind it Con­rad Mur­ray, Paul Creed, Dav­id Bon­nick Jr (Gam­bit Ace) and Lynch Steven ( Lady Ki Ki) to find out more. 

How is the dysto­pi­an linked in with the gen­re of music used i.e. grime, beat­box­ing, hiphop, loop­ing and MCing?

Grime can have frantic and fast rhymes, inform­a­tion sent to you in a con­cise way. In the future , as it is now, people will receive more and more inform­a­tion, fast and in small chunks.

Hip hop lends itself to story telling, and is the the­at­ric­al form that we use in our style of theatre and per­form­ance. The gen­re of gig theatre we have inven­ted -rap­ping beat­box and spoken word , is a great way to tell stor­ies and express our views and opin­ions.


Are these gen­res of music styles syn­onym­ous with each oth­er?

Yes they are syn­onym­ous, in that we cov­er dif­fer­ent rap forms with a basis in hip hop, as a cast, we each have dif­fer­ent back­grounds in all of these gen­re as MC’s and pro­du­cers, rap­ping over boom-bap hip hop beats or 140 grime beats. Each style of music allows to tell a dif­fer­ent ele­ment of the story

Both Con­rad and Paul have shared interest in the polit­ics of class and dysto­pi­an nov­els. This informs the work that we try to cre­ate and is intrins­ic­ally related to the cur­rent issue of hous­ing, which we explore in the show. The show is inspired by one of the con­cepts, used in the JG Bal­lard nov­el, High Rise

What inspired you to cre­ate this piece?

Both Con­rad and Paul have shared interest in the polit­ics of class and dysto­pi­an nov­els. This informs the work that we try to cre­ate and is intrins­ic­ally related to the cur­rent issue of hous­ing, which we explore in the show. The show is inspired by one of the con­cepts, used in the JG Bal­lard nov­el, High Rise

Did you work togeth­er once the group was formed or was it pre­dom­in­antly one per­sons idea?

We worked togeth­er once the group was formed, as a group we all come togeth­er with thoughts and ideas through out the whole pro­cess. As theirs so much tal­ent in the group every­body is very open to take on ideas and be exper­i­ment­al.

Who are your inspir­a­tion­al theatre makers and writers? 

I’m inspired by the rebels, Tupac, Elvis- they changed cul­ture and the way that thought about things. Noël Galla­gher was a work­ing class hero, took work­ing class voices and exper­i­ences to the masses.

I love the dia­logue of Har­old Pin­ter and Dav­id Mamet, plus Galton and Simpson, the writers of Stepo­toe and Son. I’ve always been fas­cin­ated by work­ing class char­ac­ters and voices.

The way that Phar­rell sees sounds. There is a great aes­thet­ic to his work. Also Tim­ba­l­aand uses beat­box­ing in his beats, which influ­enced me.  Beat­box­ing wise, MC Zani, Shlo Mo and Jez star are all inspir­a­tions. Per­son­ally for me, meet­ing Jr (Gam­bit Ace) and Paul changed the way I look at the world- they are both amaz­ing artists and both inspire me to cre­ate unique work using their tal­ents. Debbie Tuck­er Green, Zena Edwards, Unin­vited Guests, Lewis Gib­son, Little Bulb.

beats

What is your view of the mar­ket­ing value of the show. i.e. is there a respec­ted plat­form in theatre for work of this style in the industry?

Mar­ket­ing wise, there’s seems to be a lens on theatre that uses hip hop at the moment most likely due to the suc­cess of Hamilton. Also for us, not only was our first show, No Milk For The Foxes, in 2015,  received rel­at­ively well, Con­rad has had a good deal of suc­cess with both his solo show Den­marked and The Franken­stein show. Either way, in terms of audi­ences, it’s still a new form of theatre and we’re fig­ur­ing it all out as we go along.

If you could give any advice to grass­root theatre makers what would it be?

Take risks, and believe in what you are say­ing and doing. Keep going . Don’t worry about what every­one else is doing, and aim to fuck shit up. Make make make. Don’t worry about the money.

Are you a part of a theatre com­pany?

Yes the theatre com­pany is called “Beats & Ele­ments” which con­tains rap artists and spoken word artists with act­ing being our back­ground.

For tick­ets and more inform­a­tion click here 

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About Subika Anwar

Subika Anwar
Playwright & Actor. Brand new website. Take a look to find out more about me http://www.subikaanwarkhan.com