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Q Brothers Bring Hip Hop Bard to Stratford East

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The Theatre Royal Stratford East will launch their 2011 spring and summer season with the London debut of 2008 Edinburgh Fringe hit Funk It Up About Nottin', a hip hop Shakespeare musical based on the Bard's Much Ado About Nothing.

Following in the footsteps of recent Stratford East musical theatre success stories, including the UK's first British Asian musical Britain's Got Bangra and The Harder They Come which has toured internationally, the show marks the London return for the Q Brothers whose 2003 show Bomb-itty of Errors enjoyed an acclaimed run at the Ambassadors Theatre.

Opening on 12 April (previews from 8 April 2011) shortly before Royal Wedding fever grips the country, Funk It Up About Nottin' is billed as providing an "alternative to a straight-laced love story". The musical turns Much Ado on its head, injecting energy, funk and the odd rude bit to create an "inner-city love story for the masses".

Having originated the production in their home-town of Chicago Funk It Up About Nottin' has played an Off Broadway run at Joe's Pub in New York and an acclaimed run at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe. The show comes to Stratford East from a six-week tour of Australia.

The cast for the upcoming production has been announced as Jillian Burfete, Jackson Doran, Postell Pringle, Ericka Ratcliff, Adrienne Sanchez and the show's creators Q Brothers, GQ and JQ.

Speaking about bringing the production to Stratford East the theatre's artistic director Kerry Michael said: "Stratford East is the perfect home for a show as fresh, funky and unconventional as this one. It chews up this 500-year-old love story and spits it out."

Having originally developed this adaptation with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and their creative producer Rick Boynton in 2008, GQ and JQ's ambition is to translate the complete works of Shakespeare into the hip-hop idiom. Their first major hit was the Off Broadway production of The Bomb-itty of Errors which transferred to the West End.

Funk It Up About Nottin' is produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Merrigong Theatre Company and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd.


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