Charlie and the Philosorappers
Hip hop gets philosophical
This article is from 2015.
Charlie Dupré studied philosophy at university. He also loves to rap. The two interests might seem hard to combine, but the spoken word artist and actor has attempted it in this Fringe show.
Dupré transforms into various philosophers by putting on different hats. From René Descartes to David Hume, we are treated to the ideas of these individuals through the medium of rap. Despite having the potential to be an innovative way of providing insight into the complex topics of human existence and faith, it feels like Philosophy 101 from a tutor trying desperately to engage his students through hip hop.
It is frustrating for such an original idea to descend into stereotypes; grumpy Hume (who was portrayed wearing a wee Jimmy hat) drinks beer and lazes about in front of the television, and Descartes is essentially a hyperactive Lumière from Beauty and the Beast.
That's not to say there aren't highlights. The combined character of Friedrich Nietzsche and Russell Brand is funny, while Dupré reveals the strength of his spoken word skills after asking the audience to come up with a bunch of philosophical words before incorporating them into a rap. In fact, Dupré is clearly a talented individual: his monologue at the end of the piece is powerful and he excels at audience interaction: with stronger dramaturgy, he could do great things.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 07973 421176, until 29 Aug, 8.20pm, £8 (or Pay What You Want).