MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 26,068 this week

Rappin' at the Royal (2005)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary | Musical  -  22 May 2005 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
(awaiting 5 votes)
Reviews: 1 user

The Theatre Royal has worked hard recently to involve "urban" voices in its productions, having its biggest success with "The Big Life", a musical about four young black men coming to ... See full summary »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Rappin' at the Royal.
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Fred Carl ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Saul
...
Narrator (voice)
Robert Lee ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

The Theatre Royal has worked hard recently to involve "urban" voices in its productions, having its biggest success with "The Big Life", a musical about four young black men coming to England in the 1950's. Building on this success, the Theatre combine with Channel Four to bring together musicians, writers and two lecturers in Musical Theatre from NYU. The challenge to each group is to produce a ten minute piece using urban music and still fit with the structure of musicals. The groups break off with their different stories but the dynamics of each group produces different challenges and results. Written by bob the moo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 2005 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A little interesting but the creative process isn't that well shown and the people, cultures etc are not explored
20 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Theatre Royal has worked hard recently to involve "urban" voices in its productions, having its biggest success with "The Big Life", a musical about four young black men coming to England in the 1950's. Building on this success, the Theatre combine with Channel Four to bring together musicians, writers and two lecturers in Musical Theatre from NYU. The challenge to each group is to produce a ten-minute piece using urban music and still fit with the structure of musicals. The groups break off with their different stories but the dynamics of each group produces different challenges and results.

Having seen the genuinely inspiring "My Shakespeare" on Channel 4 I was quite looking forward to this film because I felt that, although it may not be the same, it could have had the same strengths and cover the same sort of ground. However, apart from being vaguely interesting in terms of trying to meet its own challenge, it doesn't really have a great deal of value in other areas. Hence the focus is on the creative process, intercut with talking heads and this doesn't really work that well because I didn't care that much about the specific performances/productions and problems over making words rhyme or fit were not made that engaging at all. What it needed to do was to bring out the people more – My Shakespeare was about putting on a version of Romeo & Juliet using non-actors, and it developed the people so that we cared about them and they were our way into the play. Here I didn't see the people grow or know more about them at the end than I did at the start – most remain stereotypes; the angry girl rapper, the middle-class white woman who "has something to say" and is a bit full of her own importance, the "whatever" rapper and so on; none of them interested me that much but in fairness they were not using this as a development piece but just part of a project.

The film (accidentally) highlights some things that are worrying about British hip hop and black culture in general. Having just bought the new Common cd, I have reminded myself what good hip hop can be – how it can be challenging, interesting, informative but still have a beat that brings the audience in. However with much of British stuff, we cannot seem to find our own voice – not that it needs to be about British things in particular but just that it shouldn't just ape the US mainstream as much as it does, At the start of the film, the NYU lecturer points out that too little British musicals exist about British life – most cover similar ground to the US stuff; sadly the stuff that we are given here really could have the same accusations made. Pesci, for example, seems to be pretty different in his act but then when trying to write about the gun culture he claims shapes where he lives, he turns to the movie Bonnie & Clyde to get ideas because really he admits he has never known anyone into that sort of stuff. Likewise, the white woman has been told of how hip hop is all about issues in the black community and is an important way of life etc; to see for herself she gets taken to a hip hop club (The JumpOff) where she looks distinctly unimpressed by a long "booty shaking" contest that takes centre stage – especially since she is a feminist apparently – and nothing we see suggests that the "black community" in this club is interesting in anything other than the sexual mores associated with US hip hop videos and the dancehall exploitation of women.

When we finally do get to the finish products, they are pretty underwhelming. It feels like the hip hop has been forced into the structure of the theatre and it hasn't really worked. The aforementioned Common album shows that stories can are big part of the music, but here they don't totally fit. Overall, this is an interesting project but other than the central challenge it doesn't have a great deal else going on of interest. Personally, my interest in hip-hop just about kept me watching but the creative process wasn't that interesting (or at least that well delivered).


1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Rappin' at the Royal (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?