Reviewer: Nicole Evans
Chap-Hop: noun; a supposedly gentlemanly mash up of chappist and hip-hop often originating in the wealthy areas of Greater London and Surrey.
On this occasion, performed by Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer as part of Birmingham’s Cabaret Festival.
After being advised that it is to bea standing event, it is surprising to see chairs upon entering the Old Joint Stock’s intimate theatre; this seems to bother some although there are a few dancing opportunities thrown in towards the end of the show.
The audience is an obvious mixture of ‘what on earth have you brought me to?’ and ‘seasoned groupies’ and Mr. B does a great job of handling the over-enthusiastic heckler who is evidently one of the latter and wastes no time in getting started.
The next 70 minutes or so is to be a sometimes genius, sometimes not so much, mash up of popular songs, original rapping and material that without the gentlemanly guise wouldn’t feel anywhere near as acceptable to enjoy; the goat song being a prime example. Nerves prevail at times, and the heat of the venue proves challenging, but overall Mr. B’s performance is tip-top and, while he ponders important quandaries such as the most appropriate time to arrive at an orgy and plays melodies from just about every genre providing everybody with something to bob along to, the laughter flows.
With a little bit of everything thrown in (who knew you could rave to a banjolele), Mr. B has a very British aim to please and doesn’t disappoint. For those unfamiliar, imagine George Formby on acid and you’re most of the way there.
A jolly pleasant evening’s entertainment that provides a welcome change from your usual cabaret acts. All hail the chap.
Reviewed on May 22nd.