Abandoman's Rob Broderick – The Musical in My Mind

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Abandoman's Rob Broderick – The Musical in My Mind
Published 17 Aug 2017

Few Fringe acts can match Rob Broderick's consistency levels, the speed of wit and sleight-of-tongue of his improv rapping skills bordering on the magical. Abandoman's main man has earned the indulgence of his own 'musical', which amounts to a mix of his regular ad-libbed songs, woven together from audience contributions, freely offered or otherwise, and pre-written tunes, backed onscreen by impressive animation, the production value sheen not overwhelming the simple man-and-mic conceit at its heart.

Opening with the familiar Abandoman favourite of 'What's In Your Pocket?', in which he fashions rhymes from objects the crowd hold aloft, he was blessed on the night I saw him to be gifted a cock ring, a forewarning of the surprising contributions to come. As a white Dubliner, Broderick appreciates that his hip-hop braggadocio needs to be tempered with self-deprecation and awareness of his privilege, inspiring him to ask the crowd for examples of the mildest adversity they've overcome. Somewhat flipping this premise on its arse, a hen party featuring two girls with just two arms between them got involved, adding significant pressure to Broderick to pull off the set-piece with mickey-taking grace. This he capably accomplished, while championing them for their chutzpah in volunteering.

Generally adept at getting his marks to rise to the occasion, the democratic sharing of the spotlight means that the pre-written songs need to be strong. And here too, Broderick delivers. The pick is an epic, cautionary tale of addiction, the rise and fall of his brother, not in the ghetto, but at the World Scrabble Championships.