LYRICAL MC is the new show from Tamasha about young people in a multicultural world: it illuminates the sophisticated, lyrical cultural exchange that is happening between young people in urban schools, every day. It is directed by Tamasha's artistic director Kristine Landon-Smith and performed in choral style by young Londoners from Southwark-based youth theatre REACT.
LYRICAL MC explores different characters and scenes that take place in and around urban schools. Stories and dreams, posing and posturing, allegiances and rivalries and acutely observed characters soon emerge as we tune into the subtext of their lyrical daily chat. LYRICAL MC is not just one story. LYRICAL MC was created by Tamasha from material collected in workshops in a range of four inner city schools around Britain, by applying the same rehearsal practice to workshops with young people.
Tamasha is one of the UK's leading new writing theatre companies and is best known for its groundbreaking production East is East and more recently for its acclaimed adaptation of A Fine Balance and the cult comedy The Trouble With Asian Men. REACT is part of Rewrite, a grassroots arts charity that works with young people from different backgrounds to break down barriers of prejudice and discrimination around issues of refuge and asylum. Young people come together to work on drama and creative writing projects, in an active demonstration of collaboration and solidarity.
At the heart of Tamasha's work and raison d'etre is a unique practice of exploring how an artist brings their cultural context to a work, in order to make a work.
Director Kristine Landon-Smith says "this show embodies our practice - I actively encourage each performer or student to bring their own history, culture language and accent to the forefront of their work - I try to create an atmosphere of openness where 'culture play' in the rehearsal room is the norm. This same practice was used in our work with the young people who gave us the verbatim texts for LYRICAL MC - hence a myriad of stories where the confidence of cultural exchange between characters and performers is the guiding light."
Rehearsals take place once week on Monday evenings throughout November - February. The youth theatre members have the opportunity to work around the practice and context of a professional theatre company. Amit Sharma is working on the production through the company's artist development programme, Tamasha Developing Artists.
LYRICAL MC is an incredible, unique collaboration that brings these young people into professional practice. Tamasha needed to work with REACT on this show: their instant identification with the stories that make up LYRICAL MC is essential.
Suitable for ages 11+ Running time 65 minutes, no interval.