Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 REVIEW – Rap Guide To Climate Chaos *****
The pentameter is mightier than the absurd…
Fringe 2014 saw Baba Brinkman reprise his revised ‘serious (and not so serious) medieval swaggering’ Hip-Hop/Rap take on The Canterbury Tales a decade after its review raving debut. Add to that his Fringe premier of The Rap Guide To Religion and collaborative brain-scrambling insight into neuroscience with his wife, Heather Berlin, presenting Off The Top.
Clearly a man with more strings to his bow than a Robin Hood with OCD. Rap Guide to Climate Chaos completes the trilogy of guides with Brinkman having Fringe premiered Rap Guide to Evolution some several years ago. It seems apposite therefore that last month two principal, though arguably less than principled, UK newspapers were notable for their being highly selective with the latest data regarding polar ice melt.
Can both proprietors of said rags (billionaire non-doms) possibly impose editorial bias towards the stupidity of climate change denial for ulterior motives? Can Barack Obama take on the might of US King Coal whose lobbyists will make the NRA seem like Bambi-huggers? Can Baba Brinkman’s Everyman rap rant against ‘The Man’ and Everyman with heads in the ever expanding desert sands counter this stasis – proving that the pentameter is indeed mightier than the absurd? Read on for some literally Earth shattering revelations.
The show prologues with a subdued spotlit Brinkman establishing, but not justifying, just how a suburban white Canadian became absorbed by, and into, the Hip-Hop/Rap genres. His rep-cred convincingly established – the show got seriously cooking.
So, the clue is in the title. Through a series of back-projection slides Brinkman embarks on an odessy of planetary follies where the seductive Siren song of growth and profit as sacrosanct givens has brought us to the ahem, the brink of climate chaos. The essential premise of his rigorously researched thesis is that of collective denial – though maybe not by the majority of the first night’s sizeable audience by the time of the feedback epilogue. But of course, that was why they were there in the first place.
Now, all of this could sound like a Fringe flyer manifesto for mass avoidance – come on holiday, pay good money to listen to a rap-ranting, weeping tree-hugger berating our air-con? Well, you will have to take your turn because he turns the Devil`s advocate heat firmly on himself to illustrate some fundamental life-style conundrums.
Brinkman`s near unique forte in his chosen hybrid, mongrel mix is the gift and craftmanship with language. He is a wordwright – constructing and manipulating verse with dizzy dexterity. The ubiquitous tableau of the rapper`s finger-punching is a metronomic conductor essential to the rhythm and beat. Mixing in some crucial half-rhymes, enjambment and slight of ear vowel crunching proves him a master of lexical menagery mash-up. The show is still embryonic, with flux capacity for evolution in which the audience can participate. Epilogue – the climate is changing in more ways than one and we each can play our part. This show could change your life – an absolute Fringe must see.
5-31 Aug. 19.00-20.00. Previews 5-7 Aug . £7.00 8, 9, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 24-27, 31 Aug
£10.00 /£8.00. 10, 11 Aug £12.00/£10.00 (2-4-1)
14-16, 21-23, 28-30 Aug £12.00/£10.00. No Show 18 Aug