There are plenty of beat boxing street performers on this year’s Fringe. Rest assured, Mr Hobbit is well worth paying money for. Jammed into a small shipping container in the middle of George Street, Hobbit fills the space with a phenomenal range of musical sounds in inventive and dramatic ways.
The two stars of the show are Hobbit, a beat-boxer, and his partner in crime – Mr Jarred Christmas, a Kiwi comedian. Hobbit is literally a walking human percussion instrument. He is able to generate expression from his body through the innovation of sounds and crafting of music by only using his mouth, throat, and nose. The beauty of these sounds to communicate stories, emotions and language is ever present. Children are captivated by this primal human art form and stare with mouths agape.
Christmas (from CBBC Joke Machine and Dog Ate My Homework) is just the type of complementary side kick required to keep the energy and banter going. A comedian in his own right, he knows how to work the room. Although brash in his MC style as the large and lovable front man, he elicits a constant hum of giggling from the audience.
It is fast and furious. We pranked, we high fived, we hoola’d the hoops, we ‘dad’ danced. The show is orchestrated cleverly along at a pace by these two conductors exploiting their unique talents. The UK loop station champion pulls together a ‘home made’ finale, enrapturing the crowd as he pieces together a patchwork blanket of sounds. Jarred whips up the excitement even further.
Our only slight criticism is the lesson on how to make your own beat-boxing sounds was too brief and perhaps an opportunity missed. We wanted more than BOOTZ & CATS to get the beat-box vibe kicking off when trying to replicate it on the bus home. There is however the opportunity to start your career as a young comedian with your own ‘knock knock’ jokes, so go prepared if you fancy your chances.
On the surface Christmas and Hobbit look like an unlikely combo pair, but like Little and Large (and far more funky) – they fit together and bring great chemistry. A combination of raw talent and pure entertainment.