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Previewed 14 March 2008, Opened 26 March 2008, Closed 30 August 2008 at the Novello Theatre in London
ZooNation present the street dance show Into the Hoods in London for a limited season.
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, two children ran away in search of freedom, but found themselves lost... in the hood. Welcome to the Ruff Endz Estate, the home of the vinyl spinning DJ Spinderella, who is dating the uber-confident lady magnet Prince, who, being a true 'playa' is two-timing her with the vivacious rapper 'MC Rap-on-Zel'. She lives on the tenth floor of the tower block, letting down her long hair extensions from her window so that Prince can pay her secret visits. Then there is Lil Red, a singer who has just signed a deal with Wolf, the manager of 'Big Teef Records'. She secretly has feelings for music producer Jaxx (who lives in the Basement) who is struggling with debt, is late on the rent and facing eviction. A desperate Jaxx enters into some dodgy dealings with Giant, the resident drug-dealing pimp, who lives in the tower's penthouse. The children meet the Landlord, who sends them out to work for him with the task of finding gifts for his daughter's birthday and in return he promises to see them out of the hood and safely home. They only have four days to find...
"an ipod as white as milk
a hoodie as red as blood
weave as yellow as corn, and
trainers as pure as gold"
ZooNation's Into the Hoods very loosely takes as it starting point for it's story Stephen Sondheim's classic musical Into the Woods but featuring music from Gorillaz, Massive Attack, Prince, Basement Jaxx, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Janet Jackson, James Brown, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Black Eyed Peas, Bob Marley, The Chemical Brothers, and many more. Into the Hoods in London is directed by Kate Prince and choreographed by Kate Prince and the ZooNation company. Film and projection is by Felix Harrison with musical arrangement by Danilo 'DJ' Walde, set design by Chris Lowe, costume design by Chloe Richardson, lighting design by Adam Bassett and sound by Rory Madden. At the Novello Theatre, Britain's Got Talent winner George Sampson joined the cast of Into The Hoods for four week from 4 to 30 August 2008. His performance schedule was: Week 1 (4 - 9 August) Mon, Tues, Wed (evening), Thurs, Fri, Sat matinee and evening. Weeks 2 to 4 (11 -30 August) Tues, Wed (matinee), Thurs, Fri, Sat matinee and evening.
This production has returned to London twice, both times playing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank from 16 December 2009 to 10 January 2010 and again from 30 July to 15 August 2010.
"Southbank [Centre's] revival of Into the Hoods is unbeatable" The Observer
"ZooNation's hugely enjoyable Into the Hoods takes Stephen Sondheim's fairytale melange Into the Woods and gives it an urban makeover... It's probably best not to dwell on the story... instead, just give yourself over to the pure, high-energy pleasure of the performances... it's the glorious dancing that makes the evening, with tight breakdance formations that occasionally evolve into jive or calypso but never lose their slick, street-wise delivery." The Daily Telegraph
"Exuberant, funny. A hit" The Times
"Kate Prince's production, which arrives after success on the Edinburgh Fringe and a tour, is a modern take on fairy tales, in which characters such as Spinderella, Rap-on-Zel and Lil' Red and her Wolf are relocated to the Ruff Endz estate. But, frankly, stuff the narrative: this is an excuse for more than 100 minutes of relentless dancing, without interval, to an ever-skipping soundtrack of everything from rap to jive to trip-hop. The cast of dancers are raring to go, and the crowd are, too; still, there might have been yet more reaction in a less formal, more intimate venue. And the desire to emphasise the best in hip-hop means that the show is not only good-natured, but positively sanitised... It's a great show when the soundtrack stops flitting and focuses on a certain song. Beyond the smiles, however, you sometimes yearn for a bit more spice and punch." The Sunday Times
"Performed by a London-based streetdance company, ZooNation, Into The Hoods is based on Stephen Sondheim's similarly titled musical, Into the Woods. The show is essentially the coming together of four classic fairytales - Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. Only this time, they've been relocated to the Ruff Endz Estate, a towerblock populated by Spinderella, Lil Red, Rap-on-zel, Wolf the record producer and Prince the ladies man - with Giant in the Penthouse and Jaxx in the basement. Listed under "theatre" in the Fringe programme, Into the Hoods could just as easily call itself a dance, kids or comedy show. The choreography is stunning, ranging from pop video-style streetdance to full-on breakdancing... Rarely do you find a Fringe show that crosses both the generational and cultural divide with such ease. Or that gently hints at morality without patronising or overstating the obvious... Into The Hoods is just about flawless." The Scotsman
The smash-hit of the last two Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, and winner of a Herald Angel Award, Into the Hoods became the must see show in Edinburgh for audiences of all ages. ZooNation is widely respected for their work in motivating young people through hip hop and street dance and in bringing their unique dance presentation to a wider audience. Director Kate Prince has choreographed a range of stage shows, music videos and television shows (including BBC Strictly Dance Fever) while the professional dancers in the show have performed internationally with artists such as Kylie, Nelly Furtado, Pink, Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Beyonce and Snoop Dogg.
Zoo Nation's Into the Hoods in London at the Novello Theatre previewed from 14 March 2008, opened on 26 March 2008 and closed on 30 August 2008.