Shlomo at Udderbelly Festival

One of the perks of living in London is you are never short of things to do and one of our favourite places to visit is London’s Southbank.  There is always something going on and whenever you wander there, either in the week or on a weekend, it’s busy and there is something to see.

Every year it plays host to the Udderbelly Festival in a striking upside down purple cow and focuses mainly on comedy and circus shows but there are more and more family shows on the line up each year.  When I saw that Shlomo, a world breaking beatboxer, was doing a family show there I had to get us tickets.  A couple of years ago I’d been to see The Vocal Orchestra, a beatbox group he put together, at Udderbelly, and they were brilliant, so the chance to see the man himself and introduce almost four year old Master ATWWAH to an unusual way of making music wasn’t to be missed.

The show, Shlomo’s BeatBox Adventure For Kids, was described as being perfect for anyone aged 1-100 so we decided to take 10 month old Mini ATWWAH along too.


Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure For Kids
Photo copyright Nathan Gallagher

Although it wasn’t sold out the Udderbelly cow was pretty full and we decided to sit at the back so we could make a quick escape with Mini ATWWAH if he caused too much fuss or disliked it.  There is bench seating and as long as a really tall adult doesn’t sit in front of you then kids should be able to see fine wherever they are sat.

The show was great with Shlomo being as affable as he comes across in his TV appearances.  He started off by explaining how he discovered that he could do beatbox and why he had to, his parents had bought him a drum kit but he wasn’t allowed to use it after 6pm, so he practised by making the drum noises himself.  He gave a brief introduction to beatbox and how it was born from hip hop and demonstrated his talents.  I loved seeing Master ATWWAH’s little head bobbing along to the beat.

It was then our turn to have a go with Shlomo explaining how to make some of the noises and testing us on our knowledge of drums.  It was really good and I think most people were surprised at how ‘easy’ it was to sound reasonable at it although something tells me that is probably down to the fact there were a few of us doing it at the same time and it was under the tuition of a master at it.

There was audience participation with four kids being chosen to go on stage and form their own beatbox crews to battle against each other.  Shlomo was brilliant with the kids and had a great way of being kind to them but not schmaltzy.  He asked them to come up with names for their little crews and when he asked if they had a name one said ‘no’ and the other said ‘no idea’ which then became their crew names, sort of taking the mickey out of them without being cruel.  And, the kids were brilliant at it, and very brave.

The show lasted around an hour and kept Master ATWWAH’s attention throughout.  And, we needn’t have worried about Mini ATWWAH, he loved it, he spent most of the time waving at the usher and giggling away to the noises everyone was making so the show definitely lives up to the ‘one to one hundred’ age range.

Shlomo is back at Udderbelly at the end of May for another kids show and it’s definitely worth going to with the kids if you’re in London.  He’s also playing at quite a few festivals over the summer.  I think any age would get something from it.  And, next time I want to see one of his usual shows as I’d have loved to see him do more beatboxing rather than teaching us how to do it.

Mrs ATWWAH’s Tips For Visiting The Udderbelly Festival With Kids

  • The Southbank, where The Udderbelly Festival is located, is a very busy area of London with loads going on.  This is great but be aware with really little children they may find it a bit daunting if they’re not used to crowds.
  • People without show tickets can go in The Udderbelly Festival outdoors area and there are bars and food stalls which make it pretty busy and not always that kid friendly.
  • Prams are not permitted in the The Udderbelly Festival show area but you can leave them in the outdoors area, next to the entrance.  We did this and it was fine.
  • There are loads of places to eat in the Southbank from regular chain restaurants like Wagamama, Giraffe, Pizza Express etc to quirky food stalls.  When we visited there was a Spanish food festival on and there is a regular weekend food market behind Royal Festival Hall.
  • Combine a show with one of the many London attractions including The London Eye, London Dungeons, SEALIFE and the forthcoming Shrek Adventure.  Or, for a cheaper day out go sight seeing with Big Ben, Royal Festival Hall and the Southbank Centre on the doorstep.

If you liked this post then you may enjoy one of these:

A day out at Chessington World of Adventures

Taking kids to The Big Feastival

Under age raving at Big Fish Little Fish

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