- Lucy Ribchester
- 21 August 2019
Showmanship and finesse abound in this celebration of rhythm and noise
Most warehouses for global corporations probably have their fair share of noise, but not like this. These fictional Amazon employees abate the tedium of their shifts with whip-fast tap dance beats, beatboxing, singing, bass guitar playing, and generally making as much of a racket as they can, in the slickest, feistiest and most playful of ways.
It's a razor-sharp production, with a carefully curated roster of young talent, choreographed by a former Tap Dog and held together by the gravelly poetry of MC RoxXxan, the only woman in this on-the-cusp-of-macho space.
The best numbers are when the crew jam together – all flying feet, shuddering vocal beats, arms whacking the air, keyboards hammering and guitar howling: a riot of finesse. The tap dance is as tight as you'll ever see and brings together the pummelling and posturing of, say, Tap Factory, with a daintier, more light-footed touch, brought out by Alex Larder's ricochets across the stage.
And maestro beatboxer Hobbit's live looping is a crowd-pleasing joy, as he manages to single-voicedly build an entire Cuban band complete with three harmonising trumpets.
But with the exception of RoxXxan, whose soulful riffs on melancholy and dissatisfaction with the world bring an edge of reality and heart to the show, it all feels a little too much like a box of clever tricks. Showmanship abounds, and these boys, and woman, have talent in bucketloads. You only wish at times they might dig a little deeper to find a noise that resonates.
Assembly Gordon Aikman Theatre, until 25 Aug, 6pm, £13–£16 (£12–£15).