ZIP: Gun & Knife Crime

This event has now finished. Until Sep 5 2010

© James Deverell

Time Out says  

Posted: Mon Aug 9 2010

A lottery-funded musical about street violence, devised in workshops with young Camdenites, Giant Olive's 'ZIP' is a terrifically mad, easy-on-the-worthiness blast of entertainment. Initial exposition happens as the audience are walking in, meaning it's hard to work out exactly why two young couples have decided to overnight in an abandoned building.

But that's not the point. The point is that the building is full of the ghosts of violent crime victims, who have a fine time rapping, singing, dancing and commentating on the action in the corporeal realm. There is plenty of this, as a heavily armed gang presently turns up, taking our young sleepers hostage. It's great fun: the ghosts - who appear to have been styled in the netherworld by Alexander McQueen - look like they're having a ball, their grime/R&B ballad repertoire pleasingly raw and unmannered.

The plot accomodates a thicket of funny one liners, a hilariously OTT Afghan baddie ('you westerners are weak!'), and all manner of sub-plots, galloping along at such pace that you never get a moment to fret about how unlikely this all is (credit to director Ray Shell for stylising it into coherence). I suspect 'ZIP' was intended as a more thought-provoking look at street crime than is the case, but that's fine with me: this messy, OTT hour doesn't condemn youth's chaotic energy, but stands as testament to it.

Lion and Unicorn Theatre details

Lion and Unicorn Theatre, 42-44 Gaisford St, NW5 2ED

Lion and Unicorn Theatre

The Giant Olive Theatre Company looks after the bill at this intimate pub theatre with artistic director George Sallis at the helm. The emphasis...

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