Miss Amerika is a high-powered, hip-hop homage to New York City which is delivered with enormous energy and enthusiasm. The high-speed rapping of the solo performer is paralleled by a continuous, fast-moving back projection which flashes up sketchy animations and images of subway trains, skyscrapers, taxis, traffic, crowds of people, busy restaurants. A pounding musical soundtrack takes up the rhythm of the ceaseless jackhammers on construction sites. Poems, which are spoken, seen, sometimes translated, are the words of a Czech immigrant, equally fascinated and appalled by the city and its people, but completely in thrall to it.
A huge amount of creative talent and effort has plainly gone into producing this work. The end result might be described as a high-volume hip-hop symphony where the verbal narrative is in a constant battle against musical and visual overload. Everything is delivered at the same relentless pace and pitch, and it is not always possible to make out what is being said. This is in part, no doubt, a deliberate attempt to reflect the overwhelming experience of living in the city, but a quieter interlude – a stroll through Central Park, perhaps – might have helped to balance the work.
Miss Amerika is certainly a memorable event, very much in the spirit of the Fringe, but anyone much older than about 25 is likely to leave with a slight headache.
August 6-11, 13-18, 20-25 at 18.45