Abandoman’s Rob Broderick takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Rob Broderick is one half of the comedy Hip-hop duo Abandoman, who are well-known for their lightening quick improvised rap. Alongside his on-stage partner Sam Wilson, Rob is about to perform at Edinburgh and is writing a brand new show for the Soho Theatre in September. Rob took some time off from his preparations to take our Sugar Rush Quiz

What are you currently working on?

A new written Hip-hop musical that is going to be animated and, fingers crossed, a lot of fun.

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful? 

Working with other people is the best thing. Comedy is very solo and I adore working with other people. It’s what makes the job fun and it’s what makes creativity easier.

What is your favourite Book?

Have Gun Will Travel: Spectacular Rise and Violent Fall of Death Row Records by Ronin Ro

What are you currently watching on TV? 

A Stephen Colbert show about Trump. Since Trump became president I’ve become addicted to Colbert. I watch it and hope he’s going to be impeached every day. It’s fascinating because it’s a real voice of the resistance but it’s also tragic. I still find the whole Trump thing quite weird and so Colbert is like my release valve to that world.

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out? 

It’s a toss-up between the cinema and the theatre, depending on how good the narrative sounds to me. I like theatre when it’s quite modern. I come from a family that likes Chekov plays that are set quite a long time ago. I feel like if a play has a modern feel to it, I’m the most excited.

What’s your favourite sweet? 

Maltesers

What did you want to be when you were a child? 

A baker or a clown. With a baker I really didn’t imagine there would be much selling. I thought I’d be doing a lot of baking and then consuming my produce. I wasn’t interested in making cash; it was just the cake access.

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child? 

I shouted at a man cleaning a window once and I don’t why. I think I wanted to show off to someone and afterwards I never felt more guilty.

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

I have moments at festivals as a performer where I go, “This is great, and this is what I wanted to do as a teenager.” So there are moments when I acknowledge that my job is to rap and I’m very proud of that.

What’s next? 

I’m going to be focusing on writing as well as freestyling. For 10 years I have run from writing. I find freestyling is something I’m naturally capable at and I’ve never really had the patience to sit down and write. I don’t think I’ve never really given it enough time to blossom, so the next thing is trying to create a fun written Hip-hop musical.

Abandoman will perform Life + Rhymes at the Soho Theatre from 14th-16th September

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“A good suggestion is like a big wave; you just want to ride it and you don’t have to work that hard to make it fun.” We talk to Abandoman’s Rob Broderick

Known for creating hilarious songs and sketches at lightening speed, Abandoman have become one of the must see acts at Edinburgh this year, writes Nicky Sweetland.

In fact, the musical comedy duo performed to over 10,000 at lasts year’s festival and will return with a brand new show, which this year has been semi-written.

Winners of the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, Musical Comedy Awards and the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Abandoman is made up of musician Sam Wilson and comedy Hip-hop artist Rob Broderick, who told me, “I think it’s going to be very cool and a lot of fun. It’s a nice healthy mix of written and freestyle stuff with some animation and it’s a way of bringing quite a surreal world to life.”

Following their appearance in Edinburgh, the pair – who are currently the resident band for Alan Carr’s Happy Hour (Channel 4) – will take their new show Life + Rhymes to the Soho Theatre.

“It’s a fictional biopic, but it’s fully freestyled. We’ve been doing freestyled songs for a long time and we got really excited about the audience making up part of the story with their characters.”

Rob explained that the show spans twenty years of the duo’s attempt to “make it” as a band and that the audience will not only witness the highs, lows and scandals, but they will form the supporting cast every night. “It’s set in the 90s in Ireland and the idea is that everyone who’s in the room was there at a moment of our journey in Hip-hop. Irish Hip-hop is pitched as a very dangerous world and it’s very silly. I wanted to create an hour show in which the crowd gets to go on a journey, not just within each song, but an overall journey.”

The improv double act has an enviable reputation in the world of comedy, with Rob’s absolute commitment to the rap being of the highest competence. He studied Hip-hop and came upon the comedy side of the art by accident, when he realised that his improvised raps were always a bit more comical than other performers.

Rob told me, “Standup and Hip-hop are my two loves and so naturally my freestyling somehow had a sillier slant”

His onstage partner, Sam has the amazing ability to layer sounds and make the music appear as if it has been prerecorded, so when the two play together, the quality of the Hip-hop is beyond reproach, something, which is very important to both performers.

“Myself and Sam take the music and the rapping incredibly seriously. It’s not one of those things where a comedy act thought hip hop would be a good way to get success”

When mixed with suggestions from the on-looking audience, the result is an exciting and extremely amusing hour of entertainment.

“We ask people for bespoke moments or bespoke opinions of their lives, but every opinion has more weight because it’s actually happened. We’re asking them for a minor irk they went through or rule they broke and when those things are good or really interesting, the room really gets behind it and it makes freestyling much easier.”

Rob explains, “It’s like if you’re a surfer. A good suggestion is like a big wave; you just want to ride it and you don’t have to work that hard to make it fun.”

Abandoman will perform Life + Rhymes at the Soho Theatre from 14th-16th September

 

Review: ‘Hilarious’ ★★★★ Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows, Underbelly Festival

Finding the ‘Weakest Link’ or someone ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ among our British politicians isn’t currently a very a difficult task and in Jon Brittain’s new satirical show at Underbelly Festival, the Iron Lady herself is posing some tricky questions, for the baying hoards to enjoy.

The show follows the tremendous success of Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho and this time sees the former Prime Minister, played by Matt Tedford, enlist some unsuspecting onlookers to take part in classic game shows aimed to thoroughly dis the current political climate.

Writer, Jon Brittain, has had to rewrite much of the show, with the political landscape continuing in an almost constant state of fluctuation since the show premiered at Edinburgh last year.

Alongside some dancing assistants called Strong and Stable the frivolity is maintained as the NHS, human rights and, of course, Brexit are all given a good sardonic seeing to.

There are also some fabulous faux cameo appearances from Nicola Sturgeon, Nigel Farage and Angela Merkel, but it’s the Iron Lady (complete with perfectly coiffed hair and the obligatory wrist mounted handbag), who calls the shots in this hilarious evening of merriment.

Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows continues at Underbelly Festival until 2 July 

Review: ‘A hilarious celebration’ ★★★★★ Liza’s Back! (is Broken), Underbelly Festival

Being the daughter of an icon can have its downsides. Despite halcyon days spent living in the Savoy Hotel and touring the world, Liza Minnelli had a tricky start in life and learned early on that having Judy Garland as your mother does not guarantee success.

Despite the many downsides Liza Minnelli grew to be a stage and screen legend in her own right and Trevor Ashley’s affectionate takeoff of the star in his acclaimed cabaret show Liza’s Back! (Is Broken) is a hilarious celebration of the unique personality.

Trevor Ashley as Liza Minnelli

Ashley’s comedy drag show offers a musical display of such a high-caliber; you almost don’t need the quips in between to string the songs together, although lines like “From the waist down I’m a man and from the waist up I’m wasted” are suitably greeted with raucous laughter. Such is his vocal prowess; the impersonator embodies the star with a powerful and authentic sound, married with enough tongue in cheek humour, to keep comedy fans on their toes.

With many of Minnelli’s classics given a masterful rendering alongside other musical theatre favourites (including a wonderful melancholic mash-up of “We’re Off to See the Wizard” and “The Wizard and I” to close act one) aficionados and new comers are equally catered for and are treated to a show filled with fun and even a bit of frantic dance.

Liza’s Back! (is broken) is at Underbelly Festival from 27 June until 2 July

West End favourite, Alison Arnopp takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Alison Arnopp recently graced the London stage when she portrayed Julie in the celebrated production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Donmar Warehouse. The talented performer is not only an acclaimed actress however, and has trained in both classical singing and musical theatre. She was part of the fabulous showcase performance of the new musical Eugenius! at the London Palladium and also took on the role of Dusty Springfield in a show charting the singer’s career at the Charing Cross Theatre.

Next weekend Alison will take to the stage at The Phoenix Artists Club to present her brand new solo cabaret show entitled I Made You a MixTape, but took some time off from rehearsals to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

I Made You a MixTape- it’s a cabaret inspired by all the music I have swapped with exes over the years…! It’s been lots of fun rooting out my favourites and the cabaret covers everything from folk to opera and jazz to country music.

 

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful?

The people I surround myself with- supportive friends, great teachers, encouraging agents, a decent therapist….and sticking with it.

 

What is your favourite Book?

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

 

What are you currently watching on TV?

I have just started watching GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) on Netflix.

 

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out?

Usually a comedy show of some sort- improv or stand-up.

 

What’s your favourite sweet?

Chocolate please.

 

What did you want to be when you were a child?

A trapeze artist. I’m not sure I fully understood what that entailed.

 

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child?

We had a vegetable garden and my friend and I would mix up the soil and water and apply it to stones like we were icing cakes- I managed to convince my younger sister to eat mud. Sorry Carol.

 

What is your proudest achievement to date?

Writing my and performing my own play RE-HUMAN in a beautiful little caravan to small groups of strangers. The response was wonderfully unexpected and it was a really intimate and rewarding experience.

 

What’s next?

I’m performing with the RSC at the Barbican as we transfer our recent production of The Tempest there for the summer. I’m also co-writing a show of original songs about friendship and doing as much improv as I can fit in!

 

Alsion Arnopp is performing I Made You a MixTape at The Phoenix Artist Club on Sunday 2 July https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/GKLIHI

RT & Follow for a chance to win a pair of tickets to join Erich McElroy and Friends celebrate 4th July

Erich McElroy and Friends ‘celebrate’ the 4th of July on THE 2ND of JULY

2 Northdown Street, London N1 9BG


Join comedian and pundit, Erich McElroy, and a brilliant trio of US talent – Rich HallDave Fulton and broadcaster Katie Puckrik – for a night of comedy, debate and chat about the State of the Union.

“The 4th of July is a celebration of America declaring its independence, of course, but in practical terms it’s a chance to have too much to drink and blow things up. The drinking we learned from our British founders, the blowing up we figured all on our own,” says McElroy.

“This year, it’s the first independence celebration under President Trump. Trump’s had about six months to ‘Make America Great Again’ – join us as we figure out if he’s done it!”

More information on Erich and his guests:

Erich McElroy

Erich has been in demand as a comedian and as a pundit, and has written for The Independent, The Herald, The Huffington Post and Saga. Erich’s broadcasting credits include BBC NewsBBC BreakfastGood Morning BritainNewsnight, BBC Radio 5 live, TalkRadio, Sky SunriseMurnaghan, STV and SomeNews Live on Fubar Radio.

‘Smart, sharp, endearing comic’
The List

Rich Hall

Rich Hall, the grouchy, deadpan, comic genius quit his job as a hurricane namer for the United States Meteorological Service eighteen years ago and has never looked back. Since then he has won an Emmy for writing on The David Letterman Show, won the Perrier Award (the comedy equivalent to a Oscar) with his excellent character Otis Lee Crenshaw, and won the Edinburgh Critics Award twice! Looking like a Pearl Jam roadie, Rich is a master of absurdist irony while eschewing the human condition. He particularly likes to lay it on Americans and life across the Pond at every opportunity. The world is a donkey ride to hell and Rich is your tour guide. Rich is well known in the States for his numerous appearances on The Letterman Show and Saturday Night Live. In the UK, Rich has appeared on Have I Got News For YouJack Dee’s Sunday Service, and a host of other shows.

‘Belly laughs and aching sides…..whimsical and splenetic. The man is and extempore powerhouse.’
The Times

Katie Pukrik

Katie Puckrik is a broadcaster, writer, and performer – and with the success of her YouTube channel and blog, Katie Puckrik Smells, a globally renowned authority on perfume. On TV she’s best known for The WordThe Sunday Show, and Pyjama Party,and is a presenter and contributor across BBC Radio 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Music! She began her career as a singer and dancer, and has performed with Pet Shop Boys, Michael Clark Company, DV8 Physical Theatre, and Sparks. She writes for the Guardian and the Sunday Times, among others. Reviewers called her memoir, Shooting From the Lip, ‘Gonzette journalism…an ammunition-packed bad girl’s guide to life.’

Dave Fulton

Whoever it was who decided that Americans don’t have any sense of irony, they forgot to tell Dave Fulton. This wry Seattle wag is positively brimming over with ironic invective. He even fronted an amusing and perceptive report – for Newsnight, no less – begging Brits to celebrate their own heritage, rather than aping American pop culture. He’s been seen on the BBC series The Stand Up Show, and The Comedy Store series where he took the roof off the prestigious club with his highly inventive perspective on life.

‘Whiplash delivery and relentless pace’
The List

Title: Erich McElroy and Friends ‘celebrate’ the 4th of July on the 2nd of July
Venue: 2 Northdown Street, London N1 9BG (nearest tube: King’s Cross)
Venue website: http://www.2northdown.com/
Ticket link: https://www.tickettext.co.uk/erich-mcelroy/erich-mcelroys-us-indepedence-celebration-02072017/
Tel: 020 8549 9790
Date: Sunday 2nd July
Time: 8pm (Doors 7.00pm)
Age: 18+
Duration: 150 minutes
Entry:  £13 plus booking fee, or £15 on the doorAll proceeds go to Velindre Cancer Centre in Wales.

Terms and Conditions
1. The promoter is Textual Healing PR
2. Employees of Textual Healing PR and The Sweet London Life or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.
3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are stated above
5. Closing date for entry will be Wednesday 28th June 2017 . After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
7. The rules of the competition and the prize for each winner are as follows: Two tickets to see Erich McElroy and Friend’s Celebrate the 4th of July on 2nd July at 2Northdown on 2nd July.
8. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
9. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
10. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
11. Winners will be chosen by an independent adjudicator or panel of judges appointed by the Sweet London Life.
12. The winner will be notified by social media within 48 hours of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
13. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
14. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
15. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
16. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
17. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
18. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the promotor  textualhealingpr@gmail.com
19. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
20. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to The Sweet London Life and not to any other party.

Review: “An abundance of silliness” ★★★ Tape Face, Garrick Theatre

Fresh from a stint on America’s Got Talent, Sam Wills brings his Tape Face to the West End and with a programme filled with some of his most famous sketches, fans will be thrilled by the two-hour mime marathon.

The modern-day clown – who reached the finals of the stateside competition – presents a show filled with audience interaction and moderate humiliation, which includes an abundance of silliness.

Hip thrusting Grandads, puppetry using old shoes and games with Ping-Pong balls and bubbles are all part of the fun, but the unsophisticated nature of the comedy does have a tendency to become a little repetitive.

Despite a large piece of gaffer obstructing his mouth for the whole show, Wills is extremely expressive and he’s at his best when shooting disparaging looks at his volunteers/victims, when things don’t quite go to plan.

Lovers of slapstick and physical comedy will have a whale of a time, but those who prefer their humour on a more sophisticated level will tire quickly.

Tape Face is at the Garrick Theatre until 23 July 

We talk to comedian Tom Green ahead of his first Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig

Londoners will get a rare chance to see the internationally acclaimed funny man, Tom Green later this month, when he brings his latest stand-up show to the Islington O2 Academy, writes Nicky Sweetland.

The Canadian comedian is performing at the venue for the first time as part of his tour entitled European Comedy Road Trip and is looking forward to the challenge of tickling the ribs of one of the most notoriously critical audiences in the world.

Tom said: “I’m very excited to be here; it’s my first tour of the full UK ever.”

Tom rose to fame via his MTV series The Tom Green Show, but has enjoyed a varied career as a performer with roles in the films Road Trip, Charlie’s Angels and Shred and a hugely successful career as a rap music star.

Stand-up is Tom’s first love however and he told me, “I started doing stand-up when I was a teenager and I always wanted to return to it. I was doing this Internet television show about 10 years ago that people all over the world were watching online. I realised I had fans in different countries so I thought it might be fun to bring the show to them.”

Tom now spends most of his time touring and he finds he gets a very different response from audiences around the world.

“I like all different kinds of crowds; that’s what I like about touring. I don’t mind when it gets really crazy and raucous but I also like it when people are listening to what I have to say.” Tom explains, “That’s what’s exciting about it; you really don’t know what you’re walking in to. It gives you an adrenaline rush, that’s for sure”

I ask Tom where he gets the inspiration for his material.

“Sometimes it’s things that anger me. Definitely it’s things that seem absurd and ridiculous to me. I’m always taking notes and sometimes, if things seem strange, I jot them down on my phone and try to remember them later. I talk about it on stage and over time it gets formed into a joke. That’s, kind of, the process.”

Tom said: “I’ve started to do a lot of improv. I like to pull comedy out of the crowd and create some spontaneous energy in the room.”

Tom found further fruitful content from when he endured a stint on the US version of the Apprentice, which was hosted by a certain resident of the White House.

“I talk a lot about my old boss Donald Trump. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of him, but he’s now the president of the United States of America. I had an interesting experience with him and so I found some stories and jokes that I can tell.”

Tom is currently touring the UK, whilst filming a behind the scenes exposé of the tour, which will be released later this year.

Tom Green will perform two shows at the Islington O2 Academy on 17 June at 6pm and 8pm.

RT and Follow to be in with a chance of winning two tickets to see Erich McElroy and Friends ‘celebrate’ The Best General Election (so far) THIS Year

Erich McElroy and Friends ‘celebrate’ the ‘BEST’ General Election (so far) THIS YEAR!
2 Northdown Street, London N1 9BG @ 8pm (doors 7pm)

Join comedians Erich McElroy, Grainne Maguire, Steve N Allen – and more to be confirmed – for a night to celebrate the end of the ‘best’ (and so far only) General Election of 2017!

Expect a night of the strongest and stablest comedy you can imagine. The laughs will be coming more frequently than the leaks of the Labour manifesto and there will be free tuition for all (please note, promise of free tuition will be broken).
 
It might be that we are getting close to voting fatigue, but that doesn’t mean we’re tired of laughing at the whole mess. 
 
The night is also a fundraiser for Velindre Cancer Centre in Wales. 

Terms and Conditions
1. The promoter is Textual Healing PR
2. Employees of Textual Healing PR and The Sweet London Life or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.
3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
4. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are stated above
5. Closing date for entry will be Monday 5th June 2017 . After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
6. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
7. The rules of the competition and the prize for each winner are as follows: Two tickets to see Erich McElroy and Friend’s ‘celebrate’ The Best General Election (so far) this year at 2Northdown on 8th June.
8. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
9. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
10. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
11. Winners will be chosen by an independent adjudicator or panel of judges appointed by the Sweet London Life.
12. The winner will be notified by social media within 48 hours of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
13. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.
14. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
15. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
16. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
17. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
18. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the promotor  textualhealingpr@gmail.com
19. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
20. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to The Sweet London Life and not to any other party.

Angel Comedy at The Bill Murray is the place to go for a night of laughter in June

Angel Comedy at The Bill Murray is fast becoming the place to go for a night of comedy.

The club in Islington, which won the 2017 Chortle Award for Best Small Venue, offers multiple comedy shows every night of the week, with many just £5 or even free to enjoy.

Next months highlight include Tony Law and Friends, who will provide a magical read through of something funny that will turn into a bigger and definitely more dangerous thing at a later date. The friends are to be confirmed but hairy comedian Adam Larter might be involved.

You can also join Andrew Maxwell for his Edinburgh preview. Renowned for his cutting edge comedy and intrepid social commentary, Andrew is also the recognisable voice of MTV’s hit show Ex On The Beach, which is now in its sixth series.

June’s programme also includes star of hit shows ‘What Would Beyonce Do?!’ and ‘Am I Right Ladies?!’ Luisa Omielan and “The King of Edinburgh” (the List) Richard Herring.

You can find full listings on the website