Tag Archives: Spin

Breakin' Convention

Breakin’ Convention: Breakout Convention


Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Breakin' Convention

Breakin’ Convention: Breakout Convention

Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Reviewed – 3rd July 2021



a rich celebration of culture


Returning for its 18th year, Breakin Convention is a 2-hour cornucopia of Hip Hop Dance theatre that revels in showcasing the full bounty that hip hop culture has become over the past 30 years. Devised, curated and MC’d by dancer and spoken word poet, Jonzi-D, the show takes in talents from around the world and is sure to satiate the appetite of any of the trueheads out there.

Dance and performance were interspaced with two short film series: ‘Next Day Delivery’ and ‘Power to the Pixel’. The concept for ‘Next Day Delivery’ was to make a new film within 24 hrs which had to feature props, music, and words of Jonzi’s choosing. For me the standout piece was dancer and choreographer Sun Kim’s collaboration with wordsmith and poet Surid in ‘(Gas) lighting’ which showcased Sun Kim’s slowed down popping and locking over a beautiful soundtrack performed by Ffion Campbell Davies and accompanied by Surid’s crisp diction.

Later, Atypical with Attitude, a company comprised of dancers with atypical physical or mental capabilities, premiered ‘Blindfolded’- a beautiful and engaging piece which appeared to reflect living through the digital, dystopian times of Covid-19. Opening to sounds reminiscent of frantic morse-code tapping and lighting that flicker the performers in and out of illumination; the dancers jolted their bodies to the flickering lights before performing a piece of staccato, interrupted routines which seems all too familiar to the stop start nature of the last two years.

The sense of being locked in routine also ran through Spoken Movement’s ‘Family Honour’. A multi award-winning dance psychodrama that explored the taut relationship between father and daughter through tutting (think vogueing in a toned-down, a hip hop sort of way), popping and precise choreography. Elsewhere Spin & S.I Stature used combative breaking and spoken word to shine light on the violent present-day struggles in Colombia and the female quartet Betty’s Blues merge jazz tap, popping and spoken word to wonderful effect in a fun and sassy piece. The show ended with the suitable finale of Patience J’s ‘Colours’; a 20-piece, high energy celebration of modern Afro Dance forms which featured the Congolese N’dombolo and the Ghanian Azonto which will be familiar to most, if not in name.

It must be said that not all pieces were five stars and there were awkward moments too when, for example, one Power to the Pixel entry appeared to promote the anti-vaccine conspiracy theory #Plandemic. However, it would be churlish to try to pick holes in individual performances when witnessing such a rich celebration of culture. A perfect offering to greet those blinking groggily back into life, theatre, and dance after our long-imposed hibernations.


Reviewed by Euan Vincent

Photography by Paul Hampartsoumian


Breakin’ Convention: Breakout Convention

Sadler’s Wells Theatre until 4th July


Reviewed at this venue this year:
Reunion | ★★★★★ | Sadler’s Wells Theatre | May 2021
Overflow | ★★★★★ | Sadler’s Wells Theatre | May 2021
Wild Card | ★★★★ | Sadler’s Wells Theatre | June 2021


Click here to see our most recent reviews




Theatre Royal Brighton & UK Tour



Theatre Royal Brighton

Reviewed – 8th July 2019



“each song and dance number is filled with unfathomable skill”


Sex, drugs, sex, psychedelic tabs, more sex and a rather peculiar UV Scene. Hair bounces into Brighton as part of its 50th anniversary tour.

Picture this, itʼs 1967 and a group of hippie youngsters are longing to change the world in which they find themselves. They question every aspect of authority and unite through protest and song, under the gloomy shadow of the Vietnam War.

The story of Hair jumps so sporadically from one character and story to another which confuses, leaving us little to no time to really form an emotional connection with each character and the threadbare storyline.

The cast is laden with TV celebrities. X-Factor Duo Jake Quickenden (modelling a rather revealing thong throughout) and Marcus Collins (as Hud) are both interesting talents. Both do well throughout but are underserved by the script and direction from Jonathan O’Boyle. Quickendenʼs energetic conversations with the audience are infectious and makes his Berger completely loveable; someone youʼd take home to your mum.

Vocally, Aiesha Pease, playing Dionne, and Daisy Wood-Davis, as Shelia, are simply stunning, both commanding the stage with pitch-perfect clarity. However beautiful harmonies and exceptional examples of physical theatre canʼt forgive the poor diction from most of the cast throughout the sub-par plot.

I have one big gripe about this production as a whole and thatʼs how it fairs in the current political climate. Although Hair tries all the tricks to appeal to our packed to the rafters Brighton audience but the lack of ‘shockingʼ content merely makes it a well-produced museum piece. With the director’s choice of implementing Trump speeches at the beginning, the show manages to say nothing new whilst remaining some-what relevant but this is cheap and easy. If you had put Erdogan or Putin speeches in place of Trump, or performed the show in Russia or Brunei for example, where homosexuality and nudity on stage is still illegal, then the impact would be colossal.

Putting the incoherent story aside, Hair, put simply, is a spectacle and an event. Once intended to shock and change laws, Hair unintentionally falls flat in its flamboyant charm. Although each song and dance number is filled with unfathomable skill, energy and wit the seemingly endless number of songs forces us to yearn for more of the thin narrative.


Reviewed by Nathan Collins

Photography by Johan Persson


Hair the Musical


Theatre Royal Brighton until 13th July then UK tour continues


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Rocky Horror Show | ★★★★ | December 2018
Benidorm Live! | ★★★★ | February 2019
Noughts And Crosses | ★★ | March 2019
Rotterdam | ★★★★ | April 2019
The Girl on the Train | ★★ | June 2019


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com