MC Hammersmith @ Monkey Barrel

Straight Outta Brompton is a supremely sick and silly hour of freestyle rap from MC Hammersmith

Review by Charlotte Chapman | 29 Aug 2023
  • MC Hammersmith

Will Naameh, otherwise known as 2020 Scottish Comedy Award-winner MC Hammersmith, brings his rap improv show to Monkey Barrel this Fringe, delighting audiences with his freestyle talents and slightly manic energy.

Armed with a mic and some occasional auto-tune, Straight Outta Brompton is truly an improv show – almost every element of Hammersmith’s set is determined by audience suggestions and shout-outs, making each performance utterly unique. For a full hour, Hammersmith spits rhymes with the flow of a lyrical genius, a surprise to an audience whom he rightly assumes are sooner to associate him with a Waitrose quiche than a passion for hip-hop. There is a certain charm to expletive-laden lyrics in a West London accent; combined with a quick wit and an extensive vocabulary, Hammersmith is able to produce a wildly entertaining show unlike anything else at the Fringe.

Given the mercurial nature of the material thrown at him from his eager audience, it is especially impressive that Hammersmith never seems flustered. Though he brings a kind of panicked private school energy to the stage, he is quick to recover from any obstacles, tongue-twisters or impossible requests that arise. As he describes it, the show is ‘imperfect chaos’. There are many ambitious elements involved, including (but not limited to) an auto-tuned striptease, a cover of No Diggity (no dignity) and an uninterrupted, five-minute improvised rap successfully integrating words like taxoplasmosis and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

There is an inherent amount of risk involved in an hour of improvised rap where viewers are frequently called upon for participation. Hammersmith therefore deserves much credit for cultivating an atmosphere where viewers can relax in his assured delivery and trust the novelty of his skits. The eagerness of an audience practically leaping on stage to join him is therefore testament to both his onstage presence and the quality of his comedy.

MC Hammersmith: Straight Outta Brompton, Monkey Barrel (MB 1), run ended
Straight Outta Brompton tours the UK in March and April 2024, including The Stand, Edinburgh, 19 Mar and The Stand, Glasgow, 21 Mar