(I)sland (T)rap – The Epic Remixology of the Odyssey review at Assembly Checkpoint, Edinburgh – ”utterly persuasive’
Austin wakes up on a beach and reimagines himself as Black Ulysses, thirsty for adventure but ever fearful of the problems that have haunted him all his life. He inhabits a world filled with societal unrest and gun crime, but faces up to his fear of water and enclosed spaces with the help of some animal friends and the council of a wise lobster. There are lots of influences credited in Austin Dean Ashford’s Odyssey, not least Disney’s The Jungle Book, but ultimately this is a one-man hip-hop poem about escape and the need for self care.
Using a mixture of fluid physical theatre, dance and rap-poetry, Ashford creates a vivid landscape of shimmering mountains and thick forests dominated by kindly panthers and insidious snakes. His quest is given a musical accompaniment and although there can’t be many rappers who could pull off a ukulele in their act, Ashford totally nails it.
Ashford paints a fascinating picture for (I)sland (T)rap: The Epic Remixology of the Odyssey but there are so many influences, the colour palette gets a little muddy at times. His storytelling technique, however, is utterly persuasive, drawing even the most die-hard cynic into the occasional snatches of audience participation.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.