NH? \"(ORK PIERCE .00 Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 8 May

Making aerosols of themselves

Hip hop culture has slowly metamorphosed during the last 25 years from underground cult into globe-straddling musical phenomenon. By virtue of this, it has also become the perfect mainstream marketing tool with rapping animals touting biscuits, scratch DJs shopping at Asda and breakdancing at McDonalds being painfully crude, commonplace examples of the art permeating popular culture. So, if it is so at home elsewhere, then why does it still seem oddly quaint idea to bring graffiti, that most shady and visceral of all the cultures’ elements, into the theatre?

Fierce isn’t such an unusual premise: a loner teen with a medical disorder that can only be controlled through a permanent prescription, finds drug-free escape in graffiti writing. In turn, he finds friends - a crew to go writing with and love in the shape of a sassy supermarket co-worker. Confrontations with his mother and the local gang of neds lead him to face up to his illegal actions and test the strength of the bonds of friendship he has created.

To call this a hip hop Hollyoaks isn’t as much of an insult as it might sound. The premise is plausible, the characters are skilfully judged (and smartly, sharply played out) and even the rapidly rapped dialogue once you adapt to the frenetic pace is tight, expressive and engaging, but in general, the script lacks an emotional depth.

The humour is perfectly judged, and when it’s funny, Fierce is very funny, one particular highlight being a skit which makes music out of the pulsing monotony of a Scotmid checkout till. But as many of the stronger scenes are played for laughs, the more tender or tense moments lack the power to carry them through. Sometimes, what should be a point of serious drama plays out like a scene from a teen mag photo story, which is disappointing when you consider how well many of the other elements come together.

Philip Pinsky’s music and Allan Irvine‘s choreography are excellent but one wish is that the spectacular spray can art at the heart of the story could have been ten feet bigger to properly show the scale and scope of its beauty. A valiant effort which paints a vivid, if incomplete picture.

(Mark Robertson)

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62 THE LIST '-


Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Fri 21—Sat 22 May

\"u/e've seen hrde nor harr of the rnarn cornoarn, srnce the 2000 li'drnhurgh International lbstrval. hut ND] '2; youth wrng has hecorne a regular trxture on the Scottrsh dance calendar. Back for the thrr‘d year runnrng. Nederlands Dans Theater 9 rs the hottest young cornrnodrt‘,’ the dance \.'./or|d has to otter“. har‘ none. ()rrgrnally.’ seen as a trarnrng grouer for the 'narn <:orrr;>arr,; NIH? rs no‘.'.' thr‘eatenrng to eclrose Its elders on these shores at least. Aged Z)? and under. the dancers have alr‘ead‘, undergone ,ears of rrgorous hallet trarnrng. hefore ernhracrng a more rnodern rdrorn rn Holland. \‘z’hrch rs ‘.'.'h\.' the choreograr>hrc cornrnunrtfi.’ lrnes ur; to \.‘./or'l< wrth the'n: youth. talent. ‘~.'rta|rt\.'. enthusras'r‘. these dancer's x'xould rnake anyone's steps look good.

A good nightie out

On thrt; occasron. the dance'nalxers; rn guestror‘. are l lans ‘.an Marten. clxoreog'arzl‘rc (:ourule Paul I rghtloot and So! 1 eo %. arid NIH ‘s t’our‘drng lather. .J‘ri K‘.|ra'r. A' four have a Iorrg standrng

l(?|¢ttl()l‘.t;l‘.lt) ‘.‘.'rtl‘. the Dutch co'npar‘x. and hare created '.'.‘:)r'v\:; '\.'.'hrch challenge audrer‘ces. 'atner than nand rt to us on a plate. ll‘;::;e who caught N[)l;"s 900.“: shou'. .'.:l' re'ne'nher Kglran's137:.” se car‘lea hecauseapparent}; r! took-1 ' man hours to create rt. hut ;.rst rnznutes and :3.” secorxts to perfor": rt‘ ‘.'.‘hrch lrnds the dancers t;l'(ll.".g} over. under and rr‘srtle a grar‘t rug. [eon l rghttoot's classically tr iged fiarxmi.‘ la (,"n'i'x/w also 'eiurr‘s, alongsrde the couple's ho'rtage te Gertrude Ste-2n, .‘Jrrgrffe's .‘J'lfi. Van. l\*la'ren's edgy, pas de deux. f; "‘o’e f,“ 'tgs. :to'nnletes the l>:||.

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