Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Madcap improv is a surreal joyride

Since the last time I saw Abandoman play the Empire Music Hall, their star has ascended.

The comic duo from London are now headlining major venues in the South and playing festivals across Britain.

But, as last night's disappointing turnout for their Belfast Comedy Festival appearance proved, you can't win them all.

Maybe it had something to do with it being a wet Monday night, or perhaps the people of Belfast just weren't in the mood for improvised comedy hip-hop.

Still, nothing was going to stop Dublin-born rapping frontman Rob Broderick and his guitar-playing sidekick James Hancox from giving the modest crowd as entertaining an evening as they possibly could.

Taking the stage sporting Michael Jackson-style military jackets, Broderick and Hancox demanded the audience's participation from the get-go.

There was little escape, particularly for those sitting near the front, as Broderick prowled the floor, searching out 'volunteers' to join him on stage and extracting titbits of personal information to construct his lyrics.

The resulting songs became madcap stories, fitting vaguely into the narrative of the show, titled Moonrock Boombox.

It was clever stuff, and often wildly surreal and it was generally very funny – not something you can say about all 'improv'.

It created such a party atmosphere, they even made it feel like a summer Saturday night.

ANDREW JOHNSTON

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