Who better to review kids shows than a kid?
Deadline at the Fringe’s youngest reviewer, 6-year-old Gus, is out with his Dad Paul (42) to give their say on this years Edinburgh Festival Fringe acts.
We’ve been following Shlomo on Youtube for a while. We’re big beatboxers when no one’s looking, Gus and I. We’ve seen him on Jules Holland and in the studio with Bjork, watched countless mind blowing loop station videos and beatboxed along to The White Stripes Seven Nation Army.
So when Simon “Shlomo” Kahn walks on stage and asks us to call him “Shlo”, it feels like we’re in the company of an old friend.
Shlo, talks us through the ABC’s (or PTKs) of beatboxing, takes us on a time travelling journey back to early 1980s New York for the birth of hip hop and trains up four young audience member apprentices to compete on stage in their very first beatbox battle. All this from one man with a microphone.
He’s quick to tell you it’s just his voice and it’s true that there’s no synthesiser, drum machine or turntables at play here but there’s way more to this than just his voice.
Shlomo puts his heart on the line sharing all his passion and experience, giving openly and generously as he tries to inspire these kids to apply themselves, commit to hard work, step into the bright lights and follow their dreams.
Throughout the show Shlomo makes reference to the audience as humans. He doesn’t seem to differentiate between kids or adults, or between any other groups. He’s trying to reach everyone, all humans, all people with his gentle message of dedication and inclusion.
Hip hop role models don’t always inspire confidence in parents but there’s an honesty and sincerity to this man, and with such obvious talent laid bare on the stage I wasn’t the only parent in the room hoping their child would be moved to follow his lead.
Gus got a little squirmy and I realised he was star struck. Here’s this hero, this world champion, record breaking beatboxer from the internet right in front of him on a small stage in Edinburgh.
The show’s listed as suitable for all ages and you could almost argue that it’s actually essential for all ages but tiny ears might benefit from ear defenders.
“Shlomo taught me and my dad how to be superstar beatboxers AND how to get worldwide free chips! SUPER MEGA AWESOME!” Gus (aged 6).