THE REBEL CELL **** PLEASANCE DOME (VENUE 23)
I WAS so inspired by this series of lyrical debates between rap and hip-hop stars Dizraeli and Baba Brinkman that I spent several hours trying to write this review entirely as a rap poem. Luckily, I stopped – otherwise I'm sure my amateurish attempts would have ended up being dissected in tomorrow's show.
But it's a testament to Dizraeli and Brinkman's talent and effortless dexterity with words that I felt this way. The show is based around their opposing views on how best to effect political change in a world where the average person often feels powerless against the might of big corporations and unresponsive governments.
Set in a dystopian England in 2013 (Scotland is now an independent state, some will be glad to hear), Dizraeli plays the part – pretty much himself – of a disillusioned freedom fighter, leader of "The Rebel Cell", an organisation determined to bring down the establishment through "direct action". However, civil liberties have all but disappeared and Dizraeli faces incarceration in the new version of Guantanamo Bay – Glastonbury.
Meanwhile, his ex-rap partner, Brinkman, believes in bringing down "the system" from within, and is working as a journalist in an attempt to do this. Through a series of rap face-offs, individual skits and freestyle rhyme, they cleverly highlight the pros and cons of the various ways of fighting the faceless forces that control us. It's like listening to a cross between Shakespeare and Mike Skinner of The Streets.
Both Dizraeli and Brinkman convey convincing arguments. Every idea one of them promotes, the other pulls apart; from gangster rap and Che Guevara to media types and organic food.
While the arguments may sound familiar, hearing them juxtaposed in this way provides a revitalising perspective. It's a joyful experience. And if things start to feel a bit fast-paced (they try to pack a lot in), you can buy the CD of the show afterwards, complete with additional musical score.
Until 24 August. Today 5:40pm