One man. 16 characters. 60 minutes. Why you should definitely watch Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera.
Brotherhood is Sebastien Heins’ one-man hip hopera that traces the life of two brothers living the hip hop life, written entirely in rhyme! After Canada and New York, the show debuted in India on February 24th.
Why you SHOULD watch this:
- Besides the brothers themselves, he also plays their mother, father, girlfriends, an angel and more!
- He won the best emerging artist at United National Solo Show, which happens to be the largest solo festival in the world!
- Did we mention, it’s entirely in rhyme!
- Each show is fresh, different from all the other times he’s performed. Heins is connected to the audience and doesn’t mind a bit of interaction. He reacts to sneezes, dropped objects and little girls screaming “Pull up your pants”, all in character.
- Raw, physical, in your face storytelling that pushes the boundaries of contemporary theatre.
- His first theatre assignment was playing Simba in The Lion King musical, aged 10.
We had an Insider chat with the man himself, here’s what Sebastien Heins had to say. But before that, here's a peek at what to expect!
3 reasons why Brotherhood is a compelling watch for lovers of hip hop
1. It’s an entire story told in rhyme (did we mention that already?), there’s funk from the seventies, contemporary hip hop and brand new stuff that I’ve created! If you call yourself a true lover of hip hop, you’re going to want to watch it.
2. The rhymes are pretty damn good! If you write rap, this will inspire you to tell your own story creatively. I’ve had people come up to me and say this.
3. It’s a really fun, super entertaining, in your face, very physical experience. It’s almost like watching a music video, live!
And for those of us who aren’t really big on hip hop?
SH: The story transcends the music really. Hip hop is just the medium I picked to tell the story.
When and where was Brotherhood born?
SH: I was an acting student and we were given an assignment, to come up with a one-man show for like 15-minutes. Our teachers suggested we start with a burning, soul-searching question that was going to launch our careers. I was an only child and always wanted a brother. ‘What would it be like if I had a brother?’ became my question, and it ignited a world of other questions - Which one of us would my parents like more? Which one of us would die first? And the answers really populated the world of Brotherhood, we couldn’t live with each other, but we couldn’t live without each other.
How did it become a Hip Hopera?
SH: R.Kelly’s epic Trapped in the Closet had something to do with it. I was like I can do that, I can use hip hop and storytelling and merge the two together. So I got onto GarageBand, started messing around. I’d written some poetry before but mostly for family and friends and like funerals, birthdays, weddings, that kind of stuff. I fell in love with words and rhymes.
We hear you had names and personalities for all your stuffed animals. Tell us about your favourite one.
SH: My number 1 would have to be Fram. Fram is a penguin, who sometimes travelled with me. I chewed his nose a lot but he didn’t mind because he was such a good friend. I could stick my hand inside him and make him talk and dance to music, can’t do that with a lot of my “real” friends.
I gave numbers personalities as well, like 5 was very confident and 4 was always looking up to 5, 7 was a little bit shady and 8 was very noble, you know?
Ah, we don't know actually. But we don't write hip hoperas either!
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