The Christmas And The Hobbit | Review by Steve Bennett
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The Christmas And The Hobbit

Note: This review is from 2014

Review by Steve Bennett

Loop pedals seem to be comedians’ new favourite toy – and tax-deductible, too, if they use them onstage, however well or badly. So it’s good to see someone who knows how to use it; award-winning beatboxer Hobbit, who has teamed up with ever-ebullient comic Jarred Christmas for a run of just three Fringe shows – and on school nights as well

It’s a loose, late-night muckabout. ‘There’s no audience participation,’ says Christmas. ‘We’re all going to create something together.’ The first part is a lie, and the second part an exaggeration, but he engenders a good community spirit.

The consummate MC, he comes on first to do some warm-up, acting as Hobbit’s hype man. Theirs is an interesting relationship, there’s the traditional double-act bitchy banter but they are of equal status, each being strong in their own field. Christmas even acts in awe of his musical stage-sharer, talking quite creepily about how he’s in love with his mouth. It’s a fine bromance.

Across a number of set pieces, they mix up their talents well. Hobbit – or Jack Hobbs to his mum - improvises a theme tune for an audience member made to feel like a hero; Christmas adopts the call-and-response style of hip-hop for his cheesy knock-knock jokes; and they break down each other’s work. But however fly the skills (is ‘fly’ still an adjective?) most of the gags come from the sight of an out-of-shape, middle-aged bearded man trying to dance.

They end with a proper gameshow, Name That Mouth Tune, which puts the volunteers on the spot and probably goes on a little too long. But everyone is good sports, it’s that kinda feelgood show that would probably be better suited to a Saturday night than a Monday. Crossing the genres might be pretty innovative, but it’s all pressed into the service of warm-hearted fun.

Review date: 19 Aug 2014
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Gilded Balloon Teviot

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