Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Showstoppers v Abandoman

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Abandoman ‘Improv and musical comedy? The two least cool comedy genres.’ We hear you, but Abandoman are the exception. They turn audience suggestions into sharp-witted raps. And not hilarious-because-they’re-deliberately-terrible comedy raps; these are proper rhymezzz, with three Zs. Showstoppers Less rap, more tap here. Showstoppers perform a totally improvised musical, complete with story arcs, harmonies and jazz hands. Some are convinced it must all be rehearsed – it’s that impressive. Result Abandoman win.
Abandoman Dubliner Rob Broderick (one of the four* rappers Ireland has produced) is the group’s lead MC, almost always supported by James Hancox on guitar plus, occasionally, one or two other backing musicians. Showstoppers No skimping here. Showstoppers have a rotating cast of 14 actors and four musicians. Usually, seven performers and a three-piece band feature per show. Result Showstoppers win. *Approximately. Based on no research whatsoever.
Abandoman In their show ‘Moonrock Boombox’, the troupe sport military tunics with a futuristic twist. Slick. Showstoppers Smartly dressed in red and black, donning everything you’d expect from a musical theatre outfit: trilbies, berets, waistcoats and braces. Oh, and some aprons. Result Draw.
Abandoman They’ve popped up on plenty of entertainment shows, including BBC Three’s ‘Edinburgh Comedy Fest 2011’ and last year’s ‘Comic Relief’ shindig. They’ve even shared Dictionary Corner with Susie Dent on ‘8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown’. Showstoppers They’ve performed as part of ITV’s coverage of the Olivier Awards, and they’ve appeared on, er, Channel 4 News. (It was a fluffy entertainment segment. They haven’t murdered anyone. Honest.) Result Abandoman win.
Abandoman After seeing Abandoman on YouTube, Chris O’Dowd and Dawn O’Porter asked the troupe to perform at a charity gig they organised. Also, soppy Brit Award-winner Ed Sheeran asked the group to support him on his UK tour. Showstoppers Matt Lucas, Jon Snow, Nicholas Parsons and plenty more have guest-starred with Showstoppers. Celebs aplenty have seen (and loved) the show too, including Stephen Fry, who tweeted that the group were ‘sublimely talented’. Result Showstoppers win.
Well, it’s too close to call. We’re declaring the match a draw. So to make up your own mind you’ll have to catch them both on the South Bank.

Showstoppers v Abandoman

Two teams of improvised musical comedy merchants are heading to Udderbelly. We pit Showstoppers against Abandoman. Scroll through to see our verdict

By Ben Williams

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