Sketch The Rhyme
Sketch The Rhyme @ Gluttony – The Pig Pen
11:50pm, Sun 10 Mar 2013
Sketch The Rhyme hung out in the Theatre section of the Guide, which is a good way to get my attention; using a phrase like “unique game show where freestyle rapping meets fast paced animation” helps, too. A nice late-night timeslot almost guarantees that the show gets slotted in… as a result, I found myself in Gluttony with a whole lot of people wearing baseball caps. I felt very old.
The show largely lives up to its description: backed by a tight three-piece band (drums, bass, guitar, which really makes The Pig Pen feel small), a pair of MCs play a series of games whilst quartet of artists scribbled away in the background, their output projected onto a screen above the stage. The games included the MCs alternately rapping about the sketchers as they attempt to formulate a cohesive picture (Mr Squiggle style), and “Dead Celebrity Head”, where the MCs tried to guess the name of a dead celeb on the basis of some pictorial assistance (the bearded MC couldn’t figure out Don Bradman… for shame, sir. For shame.)
“Last Man Standing” was a fun word battle, where they had to get four rhymes in a row… starting with simple one-syllable words, it quickly ramped up to five-syllable words, and that was where the nature of their skills on the microphone came to the fore. In fact, this was probably my favourite bit of the night, as it allowed an insight into how the MCs minds worked while they were figuring out the approach to the next rhyme: their fallback patterns of speech came to the fore here.
Abandoman joined the MCs for the final game of the evening (“Guess the Next Topic”?), and suddenly it was like night and day: he was clearly a step above the previous levels of MCing (and I’d been reasonably entertained up to that point!), and guaranteed that I’d be squeezing his show in at last.
And whilst the MCs were fine, and the live music was a lot of mostly gritty-funk fun, the only real disappointment of an otherwise enjoyable show was the output of the sketchers… I guess I’d been expecting something like a pro cartoonist whipping out satirical cartoons in near-record time, which – in retrospect – is more than a little bit silly. But it did leave me a little deflated, and no amount of clever wordplay could overcome that.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 10, 2013