Friends and Voyeurs,
Back from Holland, back from Ireland, back from Scotland, back in England with the rain on the cobblestones outside the (free Wi-Fi) pub window, and in a few days back to Canada to count my lucky stars.
How many stars? My stars, so many stars! In the end "The Rebel Cell" was reviewed seven times at the Edinburgh Fringe by various magazines, newspapers, and websites, which resulted in six four-star reviews and one five-star review, as well as two award nominations, one of which we won! The Rebel Cell won a "Spirit of the Fringe Award" for being one of the most ground-breaking shows at the Fringe in 2008, and, as the award presenter put it, for "bridging the rap generation gap". If you want to read up on the critical effusion, the reviews are all posted on my website under the "Rebel Cell" link.
Another interesting development is that we've caught the attention of Andrew Potter, one of the co-authors of "The Rebel Sell", a book of cultural criticism which argues that rebellion (rather than conformity) is one of the main driving forces of modern capitalism. If you're interested in the book, I highly recommend it. Click here to check it out.
This book was definitely one of our inspirations when writing "The Rebel Cell", and I contacted Andrew Potter earlier this year to inform him of our plans. Well, in one of his recent blog entries for Maclean's Magazine Online he gave us a shout out, including the disclaimer: "I should emphasize that, apart from being extremely flattered, neither I nor Joe Heath had anything to do with the production — the success is Baba’s and Baba’s alone." The only comment on his blog entry so far is an indignant one from Dizraeli, claiming his due credit as a co-writer of the show. Click here to see it.
Although we are flattered by the attention, Dizraeli and I would like to emphasize that neither of us had anything to do with the writing of "The Rebel Sell" (which has been translated into three languages so far) — the success of the book is Andrew Potter's and Andrew Potter's alone.
Other interesting people whose attention we caught in Edinburgh were a film producer intent on making a feature-length movie of "The Rebel Cell", and a theatre producer intent on developing it into a full production in the West End of London next year. But those are only discussions at the moment, and I am not one to pin my hopes on mere words; hence, more of that anon.
And what's next? Well, in a few days I'm heading back to Vancouver for my brother's wedding (he met his beautiful bride at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer), and then in October I'll be back to England again for the Canterbury Festival and the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. And then... USA here I come.
I found out just a few days ago that my application for a performer's visa to the USA has been accepted, so I am once again taking "The Rap Canterbury Tales" on the college campus touring circuit State-side in November and in early 2009. If any of you know of a college, high school, club, community centre, theatre, or other venue in the US that might be interested, you know where to find me (referrals make the world go round).
'Til next time,