Markus the Sadist, Bloomsbury Theatre
After spending two and a half hours watching a theatre production you should leave feeling entertained, right? Well, guaranteed if you visited The Bloomsbury Theatre to watch the play Markus the Sadist you would have left with much more than that.
This thought provoking, engaging yet humorous and clever production uses artistry, a dynamic use of lighting and video projection to tell a powerful and relevant story.
Ashley 'Bashy' Thomas did a fantastic job in capturing the innocence of his character Markus Wright in his performance. Markus is a young talented emcee with goals and aspirations to becoming successful. Initially we see his creative and intelligent use of word play and his longing desire to share that with the world until a questionably honest A&R man, Top Blizzy, played by Nolan Weekes manipulates him.
We see Markus sacrifice his morals when he completely looses and corrupts himself while becoming a product for the music industry to exploit. His focus and sight for his goal is no more when he is blinded by money and the rise of his success when he becomes the epitome of negativity, Markus the Sadist is born.
The artistic director Jonzi-d, British hip hop's leading practitioner, creatively tells Markus' story using strictly bars throughout the performance. Initially you may be thinking how does that work? Well when you have a musical director as talented as Soweto Kinch developing such a gripping soundtrack it more than effective.
The subtle rhyming effect throughout this play creates a smooth transition from scene to scene. The poetic use of hip hop combined with this style of storytelling is a reminder of the power and influence that music and art has on our lives.
There were scenes that were overdramatic, but strangely enough it worked. Many of the characters were elaborate and various parts of the play were funny. Sometimes comedy can spoil a story with serious content but this play is an exception. Rob Broderick, who played various roles, including the video director and Seamus, cleverly used humour to make emphasis on exposing the reality of the dark and unappealing elements of the celebrity world and industry.
This play is so fitting right now and relevant to our society at the moment. Everyone who comes out after watching this play will leave with something. Whether you learn something new or it reconfirms something you already know but the one thing you will be guaranteed to walk away with is a package of truth, comedy, and energy mixed with an important message to remind you, don't let success corrupt you.
Markus the Sadist was at the Bloomsbury Theatre from 17-20 May, 2010
Afridiziak Theatre News interview with Bashy
Afridiziak Theatre News interview with Jonzi-D
Afridiziak Theatre News review of Markus the Sadist, 2009