Theatre Review: Some Like It Hip-Hop at the Marlowe

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By Jodie Stringer on 1.11.2023

Theatre Review: Some Like It Hip-Hop at the Marlowe

Cross-dressing, muscles galore, a beat-boxing narrator, lively characters and a standing ovation are only a snippet of what Katy Prince and her dance company ZooNation promise to offer.

This energetic and fast-paced show leaves the hairs on your neck standing to attention all the way through this impressive performance. It is Prince’s take on Billy Wilder’s 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot. The story is of two women who disguise themselves as men, in order to work in the city that rejected them, where books are banned and men are in control. The depressive mood is set by the Governor (Duwane Taylor, a powerful dancer and legend in his own right), who, in his heartache, shuts out the sunlight and with it love and happiness.

The level of self-restraint required to stop myself from jumping on the stage and joining in proved very difficult to maintain; it was only social decorum (and the thought of possible humiliation) that stopped me. A plethora of forms of dance were used (house, breaking, cutting, waving, krumping etc) as a medium of telling the story in a unique way, with very little dialogue.

It is important to acknowledge the obvious talent that forms the structure of the show. However, it is also a great privilege to experience chiselled men popping and locking in only their underwear. There was only one small flaw: as the story line seemed to lose it’s way a little after the second interval but in no way did it lose the attention of the audience.

The characterisation of the cast is what sets Katy Prince apart from any other hip-hop choreographer. Power and strength is clearly conveyed through the presence of the Governor, whilst consistency and a sweet nature are maintained through Simeon. The show is soon becoming a modern classic and has already been nominated for an Oliver Award. This is not hard to believe as audiences are quickly won over by the sheer talent of the cast and the energy they bring to each individual performance.

ZooNation will be touring until the 21st November.


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