The Naked MC(l–r) Sarah Ward and Candy Bowers. Photo - Barnaby Norris

As we enter, the three ladies of Sista She are sitting on a staircase stage left, surveying the audience. They assist in finding spaces for everyone, casually addressing various audience members and asking people to share the cushions around. Once everyone is ready, they break out in song, settling the audience in three-part harmony.

Sista She comprises Rasheda Eda MC (Candy Bowers), Sheila MC Eila (Sarah Ward), and Busty Beats (Kim Bowers). Rasheda and Sheila are the original members, and they perform downstage, while Busty works the laptop and contributes vocals from upstage. Throughout The Naked MC, the girls chart their journey through three clearly marked sections: Love, Colour, and Beauty. “Sista Philosophy” is woven into all three “rounds,” which are introduced boxing-style.

With the show, Sista She create a genre of “hip-hop theatre.” They link songs together with their back stories, as well as frank stories about their lives. The girls are supremely talented. Sheila’s singing voice soars even in a cappella mode, and the rhymes of sisters Rasheda and Busty cut to the bone. Their wonderful writing articulates important issues with charm and humour, and variations in tempo,mood, and tone keep the show moving. Samples and references to other songs and writing permeate their songs, creating humorous moments of recognition.

As with all hip-hop artists, politics and social issues have been an important part of Sista She’s work since conception. The Naked MC deals directly with some of these issues, as the girls speak frankly,“nakedly,” about sexuality, racism, and femininity. The passion and emotions of these issues clearly lie close to the surface, as they are evident in moments of personal disclosure.

All these points are driven home through the use of sharp humour, which eases the message and makes it easier to digest. Sista She may be a serious girl hip-hop act, but they are not beneath making fun of themselves. In one section of the show, the girls adopt poncy accents and discuss their love of the theatre, but only if that theatre rates at least an 8 out of 10. Thankfully, this show rates a 10. I loved it.


The Naked MC
Sista She

Venue: The Old Fitzroy Theatre | Cnr Cathedral & Dowling Sts, Woolloomooloo
Dates: 4 - 28 July,  2007
Times: Tuesday – Saturday @ 8pm  & Sunday @ 5pm
Tickets: $20 Concession, $28 Adult, $34 Beer, Laksa & Show
Special: Cheap Tuesdays - $16 Adult, $24 Beer Laksa & Show
Bookings: (02) 9294 4296 or www.oldfitzroy.com.au

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