MC Hammersmith (Will Naameh) stunned audiences with his ridiculously middle-class show, ’Straight Outta Brompton’. He proves that 12:30 pm is officially ‘hip-hop O’Clock’. If you want to see a man who can indeed rhyme the word ‘orange’ and ’snuffaluffagus’ with ease in an hour of fast-paced intelligent rap, then MC Hammersmith is the show for you.
One of Hammersmith’s cardinal strengths is self-awareness of both his persona and the structure of the show. He knows when he’s able to push his overtly middle-class character for comedic effect but also refrains when this may be inappropriate. Hammersmith’s structure of the show, split into 5 or 6 clear segments also keeps the show fresh, avoiding repetitive tropes, and knowing exactly when to move on to the next section, as just when the novelty of a segment may start to fade, he moves on to something completely new and just as compelling.
The way the show deals with audience interaction is genius within the realm of improv. Whilst most improv shows rely on shouted-out audience suggestions (often of an unreliable quality), in this show, Hammersmith urges the audience to submit him questions, words and funny stories to rhyme to via a QR code. The most entertaining of these are then filtered by the show’s wonderful producer and are then given to Hammersmith to influence his next routine, screening out the potential for bad or boring suggestions, one of the biggest hoops to jump through in improv, and Hammersmith has worked his way around it ingeniously.
Each segment offered a new way for Hammersmith to work the audience whilst showing a bow to his hip-hop string. From a freestyle strip tease routine, rapping with 12 audience-suggested words, stealing the hats of all the audience members in the room and getting 3 men to assist him in a slo-mo somersault, Hammersmith keeps the audience on their toes and constantly involved. He also combats the often monotonous drone that an hour of hip-hop can create, by using hilarious autotune sections and switching up the beat for each segment.
Mc Hammersmith marries a clearly well-oiled show structure with the randomised chaos that ensues at the hands of improv perfectly to create a constantly entertaining hour of comedy that has the audience with their hands raised, shouting out and in stitches the whole way.
MC Hammersmith: Straight Outta Brompton runs at Monkey Barrel Comedy at 12:30 until 27 August. Will Naameh is also performing in Shamilton at 17:20 and Baby Wants Candy at 21:05 until the 27th.