Abandoman: Life + Rhymes (4 stars)

Inspired improvisation which lends hilarious weight to a loose plot

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Abandoman: Life + Rhymes

credit: Tom Barnes

Abandoman lead singer Rob Broderick takes to the stage like a whirling dervish. An unstoppable force of nature, he instantly commands the vast space around him and mobilises the crowd before weaving the daftest of their suggestions into a series of improvised rap songs. You think he can't possibly keep it up for the whole hour but somehow he does.

The plot (for what it's worth) involves Broderick going back in time to search for his lost father, a journey played out through improvised hip hop songs fused with other genres such as electronica and, remarkably, ceilidh. These unlikely crossovers keep the tunes fresh, and each number is brought to life by ideas offered by members of the audience.

This audience participation is key. While Broderick and musician Sam Wilson are capable of conjuring rhyming couplets out of the most awkward suggestions, an Abandoman show thrives in a party atmosphere, and everyone is expected to get involved. As Life + Rhymes builds to a crescendo, Broderick ingeniously incorporates call-backs to everything we've already seen, and the result is a truly joyous conclusion.

Underbelly George Square, until 29 Aug (not 22), 8.45pm, £14.50–£15.50 (£13.50–£14.50).

Abandoman: Life + Rhymes

  • 4 stars

Underbelly Productions by arrangement with Dawn Sedgwick Management The year is 1993. After destroying rural Ireland’s talent show circuit, hip-hop improvisers Abandoman are teetering on the edge of international fame. This is their access-all-areas story: the highs, lows and a cast of characters… that changes every…

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