Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wisebowm is an urban poet whose struggle is real – the struggle with being the country’s leading urban poet. The struggle with working the nine to five. The struggle with trying to impress the right woman and please his friends and family. This is a musical about struggle.
Steve Whiteley has created a deeply likeable character in Wisebowm, a crackling parody of the faux ‘urban kid rap poet’, with pretensions of being ‘gangsta’ yet actually being achingly middle-class. Steve has perfectly identified the attitude and intricacies of these characters and presented them in a fresh way, via an engaging premise. I have seen many parodies of this type of character before, but have never seen it so well done.
The premise is a musical based around Wisebowm’s last year, and the struggles he has faced. Steve Whiteley uses the poems and music weaved together exceptionally within the narrative, and his performance absolutely fills the room. There is no ignoring Wisebowm when he is in full flow. The production of the music is also stand-out – the music and SFX all timed to comedic perfection.
I never like to make comparisons of one thing to another in these reviews but the narrative of The Struggle is Real, the music and poetry put me in mind of The Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free (a personal note to Mr. Whiteley – I really apologise if this is off the mark of your intentions for the show. That really is one of my favourite albums and you have done a stellar job of parodying it!) Go and see Wisebowm while he is still tearing up the Edinburgh streets with his rhymes. You’ll be his next biggest fan!
Steve Whiteley – Wisebowm: The Struggle is Real
Part of the PBH Free Fringe.
Written by Christopher Moriarty.