Much Ado: Chicago Shakespeare's Funk It Up, by Q Brothers, Wins Edinburgh Fringe Award

News   Much Ado: Chicago Shakespeare's Funk It Up, by Q Brothers, Wins Edinburgh Fringe Award
Funk It Up About Nothin', the hip-hop take on Much Ado About Nothing, which had its world premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater earlier this summer, won the Dress Circle Award for Best Musical Production in its recent European premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.

The award was presented Aug. 22 during the Scotsman Fringe First Awards Ceremony. The Edinburgh Fringe is the world's largest arts festival. Established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, it takes place in Scotland's capital during three weeks every August.

Chicago Shakespeare's production of Funk It Up About Nothin', written by the Chicago-born and bred Q Brothers, was embraced by Great Britain's theatre critics.

This new "ad-rap-tation" of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is created and directed by The Q Brothers, GQ and JQ, co-creators of the international success The Bomb-itty of Errors (Fringe Stage Award—Best Ensemble, 2002) and the MTV cult classic, "Scratch and Burn." The Q Brothers also star in this "exuberant hip-hop extravaganza — Shakespeare's romantic comedy rapped to the rhythm of six MCs and a live DJ."

Performances played Edinbrugh through Aug. 24 at the University of Edinburgh's Musical Theatre @ George Square Festival in George 4.

Upon their return to the U.S., The Q Brothers will begin work with Chicago Shakespeare to develop a new musical adaptation of another of William Shakespeare's classics. The working title is MADsummer Night's Dream. Born and raised in Chicago, the Q Brothers started their professional careers by co-creating and performing in the international hit, The Bomb-itty of Errors, which made its Off-Broadway debut in 2000. At the Edinburgh Fringe (2002), the show sold out for nearly its entire run.

The Q Brothers "have now committed themselves to translating the complete works of William Shakespeare into the hip-hop idiom," according to Chicago Shakespeare.

"Hip-hop flips words, and the rules of language, head over heels, and that's what Shakespeare was doing," GQ said in a statement. "The more variations of these plays, the better, the fresher."

They add, "Our goal is to put Shakespeare in the hands of everyone, from profs to pimps to punks to poets. If the hip-hop heads leave with a deeper appreciation of Shakespeare, and the Bardophiles find some love for rap, and everybody laughs, then our mission is complete."

Funk It Up About Nothin' contains adult language and is recommended for mature audiences.

For more information visit Chicago Shakespeare Theater's website at

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