Cory is the best streetball player on the estate. It's similar to
Basketball - now the most popular game on the planet - but edgier,
where only the best can shine.
wants to leave his team, the Zeros, and turn professional. But when
his ambition grows teeth and bites back, the dream that kept Cory
hoping now threatens to destroy him.
Swan Lake to Slamdunk - you better believe it!
an all-male cast of talented amateurs, professional actors and able
sportsmen, artistic director of NITRO Felix Cross laughs as makes
a comparison that few in his job will ever get to make.
it's like going to a Westlife concert!" he says on what to
expect from the enthusiastic band of female fans that have turned
up to the show in their droves.
front 3 rows are filled with screaming girls, holding up their mobile
phones to take pictures.
explains that the idea for the show came to him about six years
ago while watching a slo-motion replay of a basketball game on TV.
thought my God, this is like ballet. All that was missing was the
that's missing is the staple holes and Blu-Tack bulges...
this seed Cross teamed up with choreographer Benji Reid, and saxophonist
Soweto Kinch (whose debut album Conversations with the Unseen
was nominated for both the Mercury Music Prize and the MOBO awards)
who scored the original music for the show.
result is an exploration of brotherhood and bonding that occurs
on court in addition to loyalties born of family and friendship.
It's a notoriously difficult topic to package for the gender and
age group concerned, but by utilizing the language and music of
MTV - and let's not forget the sight of 10 young, handsome performers,
Blazin' Squad stylee - NITRO appear to have struck a geyser of approval.
beneath the trappings of popular culture, there's an unashamedly
casts a shadow across the young male characters.
essence the basis of Slamdunk is the over-arching storyline of Shakespeare's
Coriolanus," reveals Felix.
story about a great warrior who is supremely skilled, supremely
talented and supremely arrogant.
who deserts his army for the opposing faction, and the consequences
in the development process the team held open casting calls for
young black men with no previous acting experience, one of whom
- Curtis Flowers - is currently performing in the lead role.
indicative of the dearth of talent and enthusiasm that remains largely
untapped within communities previously underserved and under represented
in this and other spheres of the arts adn entertainment.
all that's changing.
someone call for Charlie's Angels?!
programmers, radio stations, casting agents, film producers - none
can ignore where the needle of popularity swings. Not when the hard
cash of ticket and album sales have anything to do with it. So when
audiences head towards genres where young black artists hold sway,
others must follow.
middle-aged, middle-class critics can't quite understand what's
going on when they come along," admits Felix Cross.
don't understand the reference points, and many have never even
heard of rap. Or if they have, they haven't bothered to listen."
even those befuddled by the quick-fire patter are agreed on one
agrees that the audience is fired with enthusiasm. Sometimes you
don't know where to look - on stage, or behind your own shoulder
is on from Tuesday 23rd - Saturday 27th March at 7.45pm, The Everyman
Matinees: 24 March at 1.30pm and 27 March at 2pm.
Tel: 0151 709 4776. £8-12. Concessions available.