We arrived at The Lowry, Salford Quays for the first night of Some Like It Hip-Hop on tour and met with the show's producer Georgina Harper who has been with the company ZooNation for six years.
She explained that this is the first time that the company have toured, and it's a perfect way to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. After forming in 2002, ZooNation are excited to take their work from their native London and share it with audiences nationwide.
Artistic Director and founder of ZooNation Kate Prince was totally inspired by the story and structure of Some Like It Hot - one of her favourite films. If you are familiar with the film you will be able to see that there are a lot of structural similarities and themes but it is not a straight adaptation. ZooNation's work is unique and Some Like It Hip-Hop is an original story with elements inspired by Some Like It Hot and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The American TV series Mad Men was of great influence on the style of the show.
Kate Prince, who was lead choreographer for the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Handover ceremonies has choreographed for two seasons of So You Think You Can Dance and for the film Streetdance 3D. Working to bring backing singers and dancers to the forefront and be the stars in an entirely new show, in 2011 Kate turned to writing, directing and co-choreographing Some Like It Hip-Hop. The show premiered at Sadler's Wells in London 2011, before reviving there this autumn and then embarking on a UK tour.
As producer, Georgina Harper was able to comment on the varying age and backgrounds that make up the show's audiences that she gets to see entering the theatre every night. "Of course there are a lot of young, trendy hip-hoppers out there that are always present at our shows, but it's been great to see large family groups coming through the doors. We've had families of grandparents, their children and their children, three generations coming to see us - there's something for everyone." The show has a strong and positive female message and that is also reflective in the female creative team. Director Kate is strongly against misogynistic lyrics, homophobia, violence and materialism and focusses on the importance of education and the values of family and community - and that is right at the heart of the show. Some Like It Hip-Hop has the production value of any West End show and has managed that on a much tighter budget.
Manchester is a lucky city to host many of the leading UK tours either first or very early into the run, and The Lowry was a perfect venue to kick off the tour. The atmosphere was electric and by the time the finale had begun everyone was on their feet bopping along with cast.
The tour is relatively short, and doesn't stay at venues for more than three days so if you're lucky enough to have this show in your local city it really is a must-see. If every last seat isn't sold, it would be a crying shame. Some Like It Hip-Hop deserves to be seen by everyone - a show with so much talent, wit, stamina and fun.
View the trailer for Some Like It Hip-Hop:
You can find out more about the tour here: http://slihh.zoonation.co.uk/page/tour-info