Ginger Hibiscus | REVIEW: Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum at London Wonderground
London theatre West End News reviews
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31 Jul REVIEW: Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum at London Wonderground

Going to see a show called, “Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum,” in a venue like London Wonderground’s Spiegeltent, could very plausibly have seen me amongst a wacky reimagining of the old English folklore tale, featuring Merlin, King Twaddle and the Queene of Fayres. As fascinating at that might have been, when Tom Thum arrived on stage wearing jeans and a t-shirt rather than an oak leaf hat with a shirt of cobweb, a small sigh of relief escaped my lips.

Unlike his namesake of lore, Tom Thum is actually a world-class beatboxer, although again this title seems wildly inadequate when you consider the glorious gallimaufry of sounds he creates, from distinct classical instruments to sirens to multi-faceted hip-hop beats. The magic he performs onstage accompanies the intoxicatingly beautiful melodies and lyrics of Jamie MacDowell, the award-winning singer-songwriter.

MacDowell’s lyrics and strummings weave anguish, verisimilitude, compassion and comedy into the musical tapestry being created before us, drawing influence from funk, folk and hip-hop. Peppering their set with moving moments, the prepossessing pair of Australians have a really genuine charm and warmth, laughing freely as they tease each other relentlessly through their varied and strikingly innovative set.

The seemingly incongruous fusion of beat-boxing and folk-acoustic vocals is impossible to describe in writing, but just like the stories of lore, the result is magical. And what venue could be more perfect than the Wonderground, the only place in London you could almost imagine a miniature man escaping on the back of a butterfly.

I was fortunate enough to attend this event with a lovely group of #LDNTheatreBloggers, and would like to thank for arranging the evening. Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum will be performing in the Spiegeltent until 9th September 2014. For more information, go to: