#Review: Empathetic and Impactful Hip-Hop Theatre Shines a Light on the Struggles of Young People in 2023 – High Times and Dirty Monsters, Liverpool Playhouse, 11th Oct 23


This was a very clever modern play that highlighted the pain and anguish of young people growing up in recent years. The message was simple: “Be kind as everyone is fighting their own battles.” This could have so easily been another ‘trite’ play with the phrase of 2023 as its emblem; however, the exceptionally emotive and ultimately very clever creative and production team ensured that this play was given substance.

Credit must be given to Writer/Director Keith Saha as he devised four stories that all interlinked with each other yet were separate enough to comment on issues facing young people such as the cost of living crisis, education for all (not just the wealthy), housing, depression, equality, and wellbeing.

All four stories evoked a huge round of applause. The acting was superb in each of the scenes, all accompanied by a DJ set mixing and beatboxing to provide a modern slant.

This was an inclusive show, as disability was addressed through one of the stories. Before each new story commenced, the cast explained the set, what each character would be wearing, the set position, and who would be speaking to enable blind theatergoers to visualize what was happening on stage. British Sign Language, in addition to Type Text, was used throughout and added to the audience’s enjoyment and further inclusion.

The voice of young people often goes unheard. No longer, if this production has anything to do with it! This show was raucous, radical, celebratory, and hard-hitting hip-hop theater, highlighting the good times and the not-so-good times of being young, challenged, and disabled in 2023. It was funny and raw, with an amazing collective of actors, beatboxers, and dancers.

This two-hour show is definitely worth attending and runs until Saturday, October 14th, 2023.

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