Edinburgh Fringe 2013
An improvised hip hop musical that promises to take you to the moon, from the much acclaimed comedy group.
Rob Broderick is a marvel to be gazed upon, absorbed aurally and both enjoyed and admired – with equal enthusiasm.
Rob is the core focus of this hip hop comedy improvised musical group, Abandoman. His rhymes comes fast, his rapping technique pretty faultless, but what really floors you is his charm. He bounds onto the stage area sporting a military jacket to match his already present bandmates, highlighting them in a familiar Sgt Pepper’s manner, festooned with gold piping.
Cajoling a sweet talking members of the audience, Rob gradually and deftly collects the starting characters who will take centre stage in his story of a future-set space expedition to the moon.
Throughout the remainder of the hour our purple cow changes into our very own rocket ship (intimate for the first time in my experience of the Udderbelly) with all of us encountering a benevolent ruler (geography teacher), a despotic dictator (Heathrow worker) and many other colourful characters along the way. And that’s exactly what this is – colourful. Vivid, vibrant, joy-bringing and soul-brightening, Abandoman draws us into their story in the most exciting way. Skillfully, peppering it with newly gathered audience details throughout.
The closest I can come to the experience is a bedtime story gone awry – delivering up a personalised tale laden with care, affection and humour for its audience, as well as energising and fuelling our enjoyment at the (for most of us) passive participation. Unsurprisingly resulting in quite the opposite to sleep time readiness but instead a laugh-filled raucous ride of an adventure.
The whole group with James on guitar, plus relative newcomers on keyboards and drums, and Rob’s beaming smile flattering and making all of us want him to be our best friend in the playground, comes together gloriously. The key is that they care about their audience. The crowd are the stars in Abandoman’s eyes, and they sparkle most enticingly.
Some comedy shows hug, some tickle – Abandoman holds fast in a bear hug and releases the childish, hopeful, anything-is possible laughs we sometimes forget we possess.