Thursday, January 27, 2011

East London West Sydney

When the Chief and I moved from Richmond (the posh west side of the district line) to Barking (not the posh east side of the district line)in London, our friends grimaced.

Why we didn't choose to live in Putney or Hammersmith or even Earl's Court like the rest of the Aussies in London baffled some.

Home sweet Barking

We moved to East London initially for one reason- it was cheap and we were kind of broke at the time. But once we got to Barking the reasons for staying only grew.

1. Jerk Chicken- I am obsessed with eating it and we could get it everywhere

2. Barber shops- I loved hanging out in them, it sounds weird but I really liked all the local (sometimes Polish, sometimes Bangladeshi)mostly Jamaican barber shops. Because the Chief and I were really the only Australian/Eurasian/Fijians around we got to know everyone and it was always so friendly and fun. A huge bonus for us hanging at the barber shop too was all the hairstyles we got to try out. I tried zigzag cornrows/extensions/bleaching/wigs and weaves. We soul gloed (or "texturised) the Chief's fro once, and I also convinced him that he'd look good with some "Craig Davids" (he still hasn't forgiven me)

3. Westham United: We became massive fans and only lived five minutes away from Westham's home ground Upton Park. Although I am not a huge soccer/football fan, I did like the swearing really loudly with a bunch of strangers aspect of going to watch soccer/football. A huge highlight was walking down the famous Green St singing "Bubbles" and chanting "East! East! East! Laaandann".

4. Cockney Rhyming Slang: I always got it Pete Tong when trying to get it Barry White but Geezers never gave a crispy duck, so it was fine. Innnit *

5. Being so close to Essex: Essex gets a bad rap, but I only have love for East Enders. Ms Mash, my bestie is "proper east ender love" and I wouldn't say anything bad about Essex around Ms Mash or she'll rip your extensions out and stab you with a gel nail if she ever sees you at Faces or the Sugar Hut.

Of course it wasn't always so great in the East, there were moments that were really hairy but East London was always full of life and noise, markets and hair shops, geezers and gangsters.
The mix of cultures, religions and customs was such a great addition to living in London which I don't think I would of got if I had stayed in the West with all the other Aussies. 

So when I heard East London West Sydney a hip hop theatre piece was playing the Sydney Festival, It was a given that I would have to see it. 

Ms P, Mystery and I headed to Carriage Works to see what promised to be a huge mash up of music, multimedia and hip hop theatre.

Western Sydney and East London share a lot of the same social stigmas and battle the same sorts of stereotypes.  East London West Sydney bring together leading emcees and urban poets from both cities in this slick hip hop theatre piece in an attempt to the smash myths and debunk the stigmas associated with both places.

Directed and produced by London based, internationally renowned theatre practitioner and spoken word artist Jonzi D, the small cast of six bring to life stories from these parallel cities

Artists, BrothaBlack, Sarah Sayeed, MC Trey, Rima Najm and Maxwell Golden use a mash up of hip hop, dance, poetry and music to explore themes of racism, drugs, cultural identity and religion in this fast pace performance.

ELWS Cast and Crew

The cast is young and rash and the stories their own. Initially devising the piece over the Internet the cast and crew reworked the piece ready for the festival in just under three weeks.

East London West Sydney, is fast and dangerous theatre, challenging, entertaining and will have you want to bust out a flow too by the end of it.

For me, it  made me appreciate and miss East London. (and hungry for jerk Chicken. )

East London West Sydney plays as a part of the Sydney Festival until Sunday January 30. Buy your tickets here

*I always got it wrong when I tried to get it right. But people didn't give a f**K. Good, isn't it.

1 comment:

  1. Hehe I'm terrible at rhyming slang too! Let alone cockney rhyming slang!


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