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SPITFIRE: RETURN OF THE RED (article first published : 2007-01-21)

Iain Robinson, alias Ewok, the hip hop sensation, who won an audience award at the 2006 Musho festival, is back in action with Spitfire: Return of the Red for which he also wrote the material.

Never having been a fan of rap or hip hop, he has completely won me over. His material is brilliant and his performance faultless, an amazing feat considering the rapidity of the delivery and the number of words he had to memorise. The show was directed by Libbey Allen.

In the hip hop glossary, "Spit" means rhyming and "More fire!" is here explained as "Musho! Exclamation of support/encouragement". Excellent use is made of the stage and lighting effects, as well as background tapes in some of the 16 hip hop rap items presented.

Ewok, agilely alternating, represents two poets searching for ways to express themselves, to keep their expressions sacred and to be heard. In one of the areas he is surrounded by a circle of four large lit candles and cans of spray paint, the candles giving excellent light and shadow effects and the cans having relevance in one of the poems Piece of Mind (piece being a graffiti artwork).

All the items are very clever, really brilliant writing and delivery, but I particularly liked Ideas which was very funny as well and Bullets for Babies, absolutely biting satire. The audience really appreciated his performance, deservedly so. Maurice Kort




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