Late ‘n’ Live: Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh, 2010
Best of the Fest 2010: Assembly @ George Street, Edinburgh, 2010
Abandoman: Hotdesk: Udderbelly, George Square, Edinburgh, 2015
Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2016
Abandoman’s Rob Broderick: The Musical on My Mind: Assembly George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, 2017
Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2018
Abandoman: Pirate Radio: Underbelly, George Square, Edinburgh, 2018
Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2019
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2020
Always Be Comedy Online (3 shows): Online: 2020
An Irishman Abroad Online Comedy Club – Show 1: Online: 2020
AJ Bell’s Fringe on Friday: In Support of The Edinburgh Fringe: Online: 2020
An Irishman Abroad Online Comedy Club: Online: 2020
Abandoman is the brainchild of Irish stand-up comedian Rob Broderick. The act has an extraordinary and astonishing ability to interact with an audience in a supreme way by rapping made up on the spot hilariously funny songs based on answers to questions given by the crowd or crowd interactions. Broderick began performing the rap songs with a musician (Sam Wilson who was a percussionist, composer, and vocalist) but has gone solo in recent years. The hip-hop comedy star is a favourite on the comedy circuit with his infectious mix of rhythm and comic song.
I first saw Abandoman perform at the legendary Late ‘n’ Live show in the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010. Late ‘n’ Live is notorious at the Fringe because the allotted four-hour show starts at 1am and can go on until 5am each night of the festival. It begins as a stand-up comedy show with an MC and three acts followed by a band to keep the audience entertained until the early hours. I remember watching the impact of Abandoman when they appeared on stage late into the night. As I was falling asleep in my seat after a long day of watching shows, the energy, enthusiasm, and fun that generated through the songs as mind blowing. The crowd were asked what was in their pockets and whatever as produced was included in the lyric. I was so impressed watching the act that I saw it again at the same Fringe this time as part of the Best of The Fest showcase where the act headlined and performed a completely different yet very funny show.
I saw Abandoman again five years later at Edinburgh in 2015. I was lucky to get into the show entitled Hotdesk. This time the show had more structure and a theme as well as the great made up songs. I was very impressed again by the sheer range of talent and comedy and was really entertained.
In 2016, I saw Abandoman perform two shows at Always Be Comedy in The Tommyfield Pub in Kennington, London. The first time, the audience was given a full preview of their upcoming Edinburgh show Life + Rhymes. A few weeks later they were back by popular demand. Again, on both occasions, the audience were whipped into a frenzy of delight and wonder at the performances. Sitting in the front row, I watched in awe as the brilliant act performed over an hour’s worth of material. Broderick wanted suggestions based on stupid things that the audience had done. He looked at me and I said ‘I once fell down a compactor in Tesco’s’ which is true as I had worked at the supermarket many years ago in Carlisle and one day could not be found after a tannoy announced for my whereabouts. On hearing this statement, Broderick appeared to be stumped and was clearly up for a challenge. A few minutes later, after taking more suggestions, my statement was indeed included in a rap song made up there and then by Broderick which delighted the audience. A five-minute standing ovation was given to the act after a wonderfully funny evening. After the show, I met Broderick and Wilson who seems genuinely taken aback by the audience reaction. During our meeting, I could tell that they were passionate about what they do in giving the audience a good time.
I saw Abandoman again at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017. Notably, this time Broderick was on his own performing in front of a sell-out crowd. Again, it was a great show and it culminated with me being invited on stage where I handed Broderick my glasses which he put on and then rapped a song he made up on the spot about wearing specs to me and the audience.
Abandoman headlined the first Always Be Comedy showcase of 2018 that I saw in January and then again in May 2018 for an Edinburgh preview show. Usually with different on-stage line-ups, Broderick is currently a one-man band using a sound system controlled from a device around his neck connected to a PC to play melodies at will to rap to. The genius of the act comes from the rapping. Broderick can make up and produce seemingly any hilarious comedic song based on audience items, suggestions or just about anything. This is what makes the act so original and unique because the show is different every time as everything is based on audience reaction. Broderick is amazing to watch and always seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself on stage. When I met him again after the show, he was as ever warm and friendly.
People say that everybody has a double and for me for years mine was Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, the British ski-jumper famous at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. The likeness is not as much today but in Edwards’ heyday and when I was at college, I was the absolute spitting image of him. I saw Abandoman perform his full Edinburgh Fringe show: Pirate Radio in August 2018 Using the idea of creating a radio station for different segments of the show, once again, Broderick utilised the audience to brilliant effect by asking for obscure objects or stories to sing about making them up from sometimes the smallest fragments of information. He can also invite audience members up onto the stage which is what happened to me. When he asked me for something unique about myself, I told him that I looked like Eddie Edwards and ended up with the other picked audience members impersonating the famous ski-jump stance whilst Broderick rapped a brilliantly lyrical song involving Edwards’ exploits. It was an inspired turn from a great show that was both illuminating and entertaining.
Abandoman had become a headliner at Always Be Comedy where he appeared in January 2019, June 2019 and once again in January 2020. He also headlined Always Be Comedy Online in April 2020 when the show had to be broadcast from homes due to the worldwide outbreak of Coronavirus. Whenever, he took command with his comedic rapping skills, and the audience were thoroughly entertained and exhausted from laughing and cheering.
Abandoman was a guest at the first Irishman Abroad Online Comedy Club in June 2020 and also in August 2020. Sitting in the front row seen and heard, I was asked for a minor thing that had annoyed me all my life. My answer was that one day I was in the 6th form at school and feel asleep when someone tippexed my glasses and when I woke up, I thought I had died! Within a minute, Broderick produced a wonderfully funny rap with video production incorporating my daft answer. It was priceless.
Abandoman presented two full shows for Always Be Comedy Online in July and October 2020. I had seen him many times but the incredible musical talent entertained the online crowd so spectacularly with computer visuals and comedy rap work made up from answers to his questions that he delivered an amazing show loved by the crowd.
In August 2020, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe should have been taking place for three and half weeks. Because of the Coronavirus epidemic, the Fringe was cancelled for the first time in its seventy-three-year history and the creative arts industry, including comedians, suffered badly as a result. Undeterred, the EdFringe website featured several projects to provide support for Fringe acts and to keep the spirit of the Fringe alive. One such project throughout August was Fringe on Friday – an online show featuring Fringe acts and sponsored by innovative investment platforms and stockbroker, AJ Bell. Please go to www.edfringe.com for further information about donating to the fund. The headline act for the Fringe on Friday show that I saw was the amazing Abandoman who did not disappoint by performing more joyous songs to audience suggestions.
Broderick aka Abandoman is an exceptionally talented and genuinely funny man who has an irreplaceable and unique act that deserves every success.