Go see this: Sylvia
The story of Sylvia Pankhurst’s struggle – hip hop style – is creating waves up in London Town at the mo. Catch it if you can. Muddy Kent editor Ali was at school with its creator Kate Prince…
Funny how some people just know what they want to do and who they want to be right from an early age, isn’t it? I had a great school friend like that – Kate Prince. At 9-years old she was choreographing routines for us to perform and had this kind of cool innate passion for the things she believed in. Roll on *cough* a couple of decades or so and she’s the unstoppable force behind ZooNation, the theatre and dance company responsible for some of the UK’s biggest hip-hop theatre productions of the last 15 years. She’s also the woman behind this autumn’s biggest feminist musical, Sylvia.
Being a smart, in-the-know Muddy reader you’re probably fully aware that 2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of women in Britain getting the vote. And could there be any better way to celebrate this milestone than a funky, hip-hop musical retelling the story of the suffragettes on the London stage? Of course not!
Giving traditional musicals a kick in the ballots, Sylvia has just started its three-week run at the Old Vic in London (until 22 Sept), staring Beverley Knight as Emmeline Pankhurst. This is a brand new musical co-written especially for the stage by Kate Prince and Priya Parmar and celebrates the life of Sylvia Pankhurst her pivotal role in the campaign for women’s rights and the price of the passion and politics that tore her family apart. It’s Kate’s sixth full-scale show – basically she’s been using hip-hop as a way to bring new life into well-known stories waaaaay before Hamilton hit the stage.
A dry documentary show this ain’t – it promises to be a rollercoaster of creativity that will draw you in and body pop you along with Kate’s trademark combination of dance, hip hop, soul and funk. Basically this is going to be the remarkable story at the heart of the Suffragette movement, told as you’ve never seen it before.
If ever there was a production to bring history to life and make it relevant to modern audiences this is it. So if you were planning on doing one thing to mark the 100 year anniversary of women in Britain getting the vote – look no further! And if you don’t make it up to town, there’s rumour of a follow on UK tour, so watch this space. zoonation.co.uk