Abandoman (AKA Rob Broderick) – Pirate Radio
- Brian Donaldson
- 2 November 2018
Improvised musical comedy at its most raucous and inspired
The thought of a happier stage presence in live comedy than Irishman Rob Broderick seems almost implausible. Smiling from first moment to last, there's a joie de vivre about the one-man improvisational music machine that is infectious, as he takes audience suggestions and spins them into instant raps, melodies and tunes. They are almost universally innovative and amusing, that the only conclusion you can reach is that a form of witchcraft is somehow at play.
Using a laptop and a series of brightly coloured buttons attached to his chest, Broderick aka Abandoman rips through 70 minutes of rhymes and couplets about everything from libraries to lasagnes, rarely faltering even when handed less inspirational raw material. Occasionally the lines are slightly mangled into his microphone but perhaps this is down to over-excitement as he sprints headlong to another inspired punchline. And the momentum is derailed only when a well-oiled audience member forgets the whole reason she was invited up on stage, her own enthusiastic participation leading to barely restrained irritation from a crowd panting expectantly for more cunning wordplay.
Other punters help Broderick out with their own biographical snippets: no one is ever dragged up against their will, the crowd as one buying into a frenetic party atmosphere where everyone is in it together. One trio play the part of his 'old band' now making a reunion after all these years, reminding him of their rapper names as a key to unlock more flowing verse. Musical comedy and improv are often sniffed at by comedy purists, but when Abandoman bulldozes his way into town, only the grumpiest can fail to be seduced.
Abandoman (AKA Rob Broderick) – Pirate Radio continues until Thursday 29 November. Seen at The Stand, Edinburgh.