Kate Prince, choreographer-director of ZooNation, on Some Like it Hip Hop
As anyone who’s seen her company ZooNation in action knows, Kate Prince is one of the UK’s savviest choreographer-directors. But it wasn’t easy to find the right follow-up to Into the Hoods, the company’s fairy tale-based smash hit and a bona fide hip hop dance theatre classic.
As Prince admits, ‘There was so much pressure to create another show with the same “winning formula”. It took us a long time, but I wanted to make sure what we did was very different while still keeping the high entertainment and comedy value.’
ZooNation has struck gold again with their loose adaptation of Some Like It Hot, a cinematic great converted into a zingy song and dance story of love, almost Shakespearean mistaken identity, and revolution. ‘The show’s turned into something much bigger than how it started out,’ says Prince. ‘It has a huge heart and some deeper political messages, along with being a metaphor for hip hop culture and music -- the good and the bad. I'm proud of the fact that in one performance we’re able to make the audience both laugh and cry. And it’s proved we’re not just a one-hit wonder.’
As well as ensuring audience enjoyment, Prince has also helped the performers in ZooNation grow and develop, some of which is down to her working methods. ‘Once we’ve created the music [an original score by DJ Walde and Josh Cohen] and book [by Prince and Felix Harrison] we're in the rehearsal room. There the story content, structure, characterisation and themes always come first, before being coloured in with layers of intricate choreography and dance.’
Asked what she’d like prospective audiences to know before seeing the show, Prince is quick to answer: ‘If you like what you see, make some noise. Going to see a ZooNation show shouldn’t feel like a stiff event.’
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 6 & Wed 7 Nov.