MonthMay 2017

Sugarhill Gang: how we made Rapper’s Delight

‘I’d heard this word hip-hop and just started going: “Hip-hop hippie to the hippie to the hip-hip hop”’ When I was in 10th grade in New Jersey, I went to a party and heard someone talking rhythmically through a mic. “That’s rapping,” he said. “That’s what they’re doing in New York.” I had started DJ-ing to make some money and added rapping to my repertoire. One line was a spoken drum roll: ‘To the bang-bang boogie, say up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat’ Continue reading… [hmp_player]

‘There’s a new sheriff in town​!​’ – ​​George ​Osborne’s Evening Standard​ imagined​

As the former chancellor eases into the editor’s chair we imagine how the newspaper’s diary column might reflect the world – plus, a look at the new boss’s first leader column, and a guide to keeping the owner, Evgeny Lebedev, sweet The stories that won’t make headlines in Osborne’s paper Boris Johnson is brokenIn this gleaming, forward-looking utopia of a city, it rarely benefits anybody to dwell on the past. Least of all Boris Johnson. Continue reading… [hmp_player]

‘I was dehumanised’: Lemn Sissay on hearing his harrowing abuse report live on stage

In a blistering one-off show, poet Lemn Sissay heard – for the first time – the record of his suffering as a child in care. He explains why the theatre was the safest place to relive his beatings and betrayal I have never been in a theatre audience like this one – so loving, supportive, involved. Then again, there has probably never been a production quite like this. It is the ultimate verbatim theatre. What’s more, part of the verbatim is happening live, unscripted, in front of us. Lemn Sissay’s The Report, at the Royal Court in London, is just that: the reading of – and his reaction to – the psychologist’s report about the abuse he suffered over 18 years as a child in the care system. It is a one-off production. This is, by turns, theatre as shock treatment, theatre as therapy, theatre as protest and, perhaps ultimately, theatre as survival. We come away with a microscopically detailed portrait of the poet – and the system that did its best to destroy him.Sissay, now 49, was born to an Ethiopian mother in Wigan. She was a young woman – a girl really – who had come to study in Britain and found herself pregnant. She was placed in a mother and baby unit and, at two months old, Sissay was put in care. His mother was asked to sign adoption papers and refused – she wanted her son back when she could manage better. Social services ignored her wishes, telling his long-term foster parents to treat this as adoption. Sissay was renamed Norman by his social worker, who happened to be called Norman. Related: Lemn Sissay: ‘I would die if I didn’t live in the present’ At the end, everyone cheers. You sense they would rather just hug Sissay Open all doors.Open all senses.Open all defences.Ask, what were these closed for? Continue reading… [hmp_player]

Tuesday’s best TV: The Break Up; Horizon – Why Did I Go Mad?

A divorcing couple allow cameras to follow them around; new insights into the voices and hallucinations of schizophrenia. Plus: the final episode of Peter Kay’s Car Share If your marriage has broken up and you’re at war with your ex over the children, letting cameras follow your family for 18 months seems like a brave initiative. Luckily for inquisitive viewers, this is what divorcees Steve and Terri-Anne – who aren’t on speaking terms – have decided to do. Family mediator Victoria Hewitt is on hand to manage the explosion when Steve brings his new wife to a meeting, while Terri-Anne’s mum gives her view on their breakup. Honesty all round. Hannah Verdier Continue reading… [hmp_player]