Lorenzo Pacitti

Edinburgh Fringe review: Mark Grist and MC Mixy, Dead Poets’ Death Match

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The stunning poetry of Mark Grist and the endlessly impressive raps of MC Mixy make for a death match made in heaven.

Eight legendary poets on offer, four on Mark’s side and four on Mixy’s. They are all well chosen participants with recognisable names for novices and fascinating backstories to generate funny and interesting material for the performers. The team element means we don’t get to hear about all the poets but it does mean the audience is in control of the show they wanted to see, choosing their two favourites from each side before deciding on a final showdown.

Each chosen poet is given an introduction and a brief history through a joint rap of Mark and Mixy’s, along with a individual pieces by the pair that they were influenced to create after researching the poet. As these performances pieces weren’t formally introduced, it was fascinating to see Mark take to the stage in what appeared to be a short stand-up routine before you realised he’d slipped seamlessly into poetry. Mixy then took his turn to offer a poem including a hilarious paternal ode with a brilliant catch I won’t spoil.

These interludes were spellbinding for any fans of spoken word as the two performers were on the top of their game. A particular highlight was Mixy’s turn in the spotlight for his regular freestyle rap attempt. 10 incredibly difficult words were given from the audience, which Mixy proceeded to weave into an incredible freestyle rap that incorporated every word. It was done without missing a beat, without a do-over or a hesitation, no wasted verses. This alone was worth a good chunk of the ticket price, along with Mark’s wonderful poetry.

The show concludes with an almighty rap battle of two poetry heavyweights as they throw insults at each other and approach this round with increased bombast and humour. It’s hilarious and often juvenile but still as impressive and engrossing as their earlier serious work.

If any element of spoken word, poetry, comedy, rap included in the ticket price peaks your interest, then this a must-see and a double act that needs much more exposure.

Date of live review: 20 August 2014 @ Assembly Rooms Studio 4

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