I came across The Beatbox Collective outside of Bristo Square and asked them for their elevator pitch. Without conferring at all, they immediately began making the exact noises of a lift, so accurately it was slightly terrifying. I was instantly sold.
I don’t know much about beatboxing, so I wasn't expecting the absolutely phenomenal performance from the five champion beatboxers who make up The Beatbox Collective. Experimental, Bass6, MC Zani, Ball Zee and Petebox are all sensational talents whose vocal acrobatics are a wonder to behold.
You may wonder, as I did, how an hour of beatboxing can be entertaining; surely it must become repetitive after a while? Possibly, but not in this show. It is brilliantly constructed to keep excellent pace, and the skill set of each performer is so extensive that it never once becomes dull. They’re constantly doing new, incredible, crazy things with their voices that leave you open-mouthed and genuinely awestruck.
They each get a chance to show off their own particular talents in solo performances, which are all equally brilliant and allow their personalities to shine through. There’s a battle in which the audience decides the winner, a day in the life of a beatboxer with flawless recreations of the sounds of brushing your teeth and boiling the kettle, and a game of catch with a non-existent ball which you will find yourself believing is actually there; there is no way they can possibly make those exact noises so accurately.
The lighting deserves a mention of its own due to its sheer simplicity and absolute brilliance; coloured strobe lighting perfectly in time with the beat of each performance adds an exciting extra element to the already buzzing atmosphere. There are no sound effects, no manipulations of their voices - as much as you might be tempted to believe there are. These are just five insanely talented guys who will entertain you thoroughly for a spectacular hour.
I came out of the show completely speechless, and now I could regurgitate an entire Thesaurus trying to find adjectives good enough to describe this show, but nothing I say can truly convey the brilliance of these five performers, so if you’re even the slightest bit intrigued, go and see them. You won’t regret it, and you honestly won’t believe your ears.
The Beatbox Collective: What’s Your Sound? is on at 22:30 at Gilded Balloon at the Museum until August 26th. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the EdFringe website.