Mark Grist & MC Mixy: Dead Poets’ Deathmatch, 5/8/14

Dead Poets’ Deathmatch
Mark Grist and MC Mixy
Assembly Studio 5, Venue 17, George Square
05/08/14, 5.30-6.30pm
10th, 12th -24th August, 5.30-6.30pm
£10-12 (£8.50–10.50 concessions)

Review: Kyle Cooper

An 8-bit sprite of Sylvia Plath holding a sword, and the grim reaper himself on the sound deck – this was always going to be an amusing show. Mark Grist and MC Mixy present a collection of raps and poems from the educational and light-hearted to some more sombre fare. The audience are given their pick of eight of the greats: Byron, Raleigh, Hughes, Clare, Plath, Gil Scott-Heron, Burns and Keats. Four are chosen initially, which Grist and Mixy then introduce in a sort of rhythmic potted biography – imagine a hip-hop Wikipedia. These are competent; occasionally a little clunky, but are successful in stirring up some enthusiasm for the poets. The hosts then each present a piece of their own in response to this poet – these are more well-developed. Grist had a particularly nice response to Hughes in re-telling his own experiences with nature in battling the Great Skuas on the Shetland Isles, while Mixy’s rap response to Plath was powerful and rhythmically tight. Two of these four dead poets are then selected, while the hosts dress up to represent them. The show culminates in a rap battle between the two, which is good fun and contains some good quality spoken word.

This show is quality entertainment, approachable and understandable. The two hosts are excellent, and, while some of the pieces are a tad rough, their energy carries the humour of the show through. Well worth a look.

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