Adelaide Fringe 2011
They’ve got rhythm, they’ve got music, they’ve got hip hop, who could ask for anything more (well, maybe just a few more in the audience). Despite a small crowd on a rainy opening night, the B-boys from Flhip Flhop can cover all the bases from a shuffle ball-change to an ipod shuffle in this physical musical comedy from the UK.
In his movies Fred Astaire insisted that the dance routines make sense as part of the story, they would build out of and progress the action. He would incorporate the surfaces and objects around him to set up a rhythm, to shift us into the pleasure of the dance. So, too, the Flhip Flhop duo from Rannel Theatre cleverly build complex rhythmic routines out of everyday objects and events, but giving them a distinctly hip hop flavour.
The scenario (reminiscent of those of Oz physical comedy legends Lano and Woodley) is a day in the life of two mates whose attention deficit disorder antics get them into some skilfully executed strife. What starts as a few sight gags and beat boxing, progresses to tightly choreographed and cleverly musical routines. These two spoof the wannabe DJ and B-Boy while actually demonstrating real physical and rhythmic skills. They build a sweet pas de deux out of a seated leg cross, a crouching tiger fight scene with a paint roller and a “so we’re cool?” handshake that I want them to post on YouTube so I can learn it. The sit-com story gradually hooks you in, developing the two characters’ dilemmas and beautifully building to the ridiculous. When the two discover turntables in the flat they are painting, a slick scratching routine develops into a hilarious body-syncing music/sound effects collage that takes us from air guitar to Apocalyse Now.
Joey D (the bigger guy) is the one with the break dance moves and more. He pulls out the footwork and the back flip and can blow a mean blues harp. Matt Bailey (the “You’re lucky I’m good with technology” one) can act, scratch and cut a contact duet. Together they deliver a slick, funny and virtuosic show that now only needs bigger houses to spark off their great stage energy.