London’s Perverted Children isn’t just a catchy and provocative title with little substance but a show which recounts the glorious decay of what has been dubbed the ‘London Berlin’ : Hackney Wick . Ok, that probably sounds a bit hackneyed (no pun intended). You may be thinking: ‘Oh The Wick kids are putting on a play about the inevitable loss of its artistic edge due to overgentrification and overdevelopment.’ Oh whoopty doo? Right? Well, surprisingly a more complex picture is revealed of the transformation of this neighbourhood and they even go so far as to describe the piece as a Hackney Wick funeral. They then in minute detail and with great lyrical craftsmanship explain why .
Poet and Playwright Siddartha Bose, has penned something that he and his team of improvisers Vocal Percussionist, Tobias Hug and Electric / Dub Step DJ Zoltan Nagy make all their own flipping from a walking tour performed excellently well by Erik Perera to a theatrical performance and a gig all set in the ever-buzzing Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick .
Despite the chilly September air, the final performance of LPC was packed proving once again that an audience for nontraditional forms of theatre exists. When you arrive under the bridge there is a rather grimy looking guide (Erik Perera) waiting for you. He pushes through with his shopping trolley and begins to give us a sightseeing tour of the streets of Hackney Wick revealing the long hard-working history that belayed this city long before the cool kids invaded. He brings us down to the bridge where we can see the Olympic park shining bright over the dark canal . We all crowded around to hear what this ghost from Hackney Wick past thinks of all that Olympic malarkey. He says some things were alright like flats and stuff but there is a sense of cynicism in the air. With this he leads us back to the car park at the Yard to tell us the end of the tale and lead us back to the theatre for a right old ‘knees up’
We are welcomed into the modern amphitheatre by Tobias Hug’s vocal stylings. He’s creating a Latin Jazz vibe while we await for the show to begin. Bose arrives kicking our cockney tour guide off the stage who then precedes to ask these hip kids ‘Who do you think you are?’ ‘I’ve been here forever.’ There is a feeling like he has been in the Wick for ages and he rightfully owns it. Or does he ? Or does anyone for that matter? The performance starts with an essential question ‘How can we belong to a place that is always changing ?’
To find out the answer, they transport us into their world which combines beatboxing, a live dj and Bose’s rhymes. It is a multifaceted piece of theatre which comes off due to the combination of Bose ‘s incredible turn of phrase and Hug’s musicianship. As the piece progresses his poetry and rhythms are woven into the thumping beats of drum n bass and the vocal percussions of Hug behind him.
The pleasures and pains of living in this ‘silent city’ are on display. He mocks the talk of which scene in East London is the ‘real deal’ but as you sit there with the LPC you get the feeling that this is the real deal. Bose’s presence on stage is also one of the key components of the show. He commands your attention and the audience gives it to him because in a way both his words and body intoxicate you.
Ok I admit this reaction may seem a bit overzealous. However, the LPC do something mesmerizing and they even incorporate visuals as well done by Kent Hugo to round it all out. They are also talking about something we can all relate to how to cope with being a human in this huge metropolis.
It is no surprise that London’s Perverted Children is the unconventional live event that is kicking off The Yard’s ‘Class of ’13 Festival’ and it’s a good fit for this fringe theatre which promotes a hodgepodge of performance styles and sociopolitical themes. The Yard is a five minute walk from Hackney Wick Station. For more info on the LPC please visit http://lpcwick.tumblr.com/ For more on The Yard visit http://theyardtheatre.co.uk/