My Festival: SK Shlomo
I only have time to see one show in Edinburgh. Why should I go to yours?
As far as I know, Surrender is the only show on the Fringe that starts off as theatre and ends as a rave! It’s deeper than it sounds – I use beatboxing, live looping and storytelling to explore why I’ve been off the road for two years with my mental health, building to a climactic ending about empowerment in recovery. The audience euphoria at Edinburgh Festival has been so intense – they’ve been throwing their chairs to the side every single night so they can dance and jump! It’s an amazing feeling.
Now I think of it, I’ve got time to see two. What else should I definitely go to?
Haha that’s easy – come to my family show in the daytime! It’s called Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids and it’s about empowering young people to find their true voice. It’s very passionate, very silly and it’s a lot of fun for music-loving adults too.
What are the best and worst things that have happened to you at the Edinburgh festival?
The hardest thing has been energy doing multiple shows a day. I had a bit of a meltdown whilst out flyering, unsuccessfully, in the relentless rain on ‘Black Wednesday’ (the day when sales are traditionally lowest across the whole Fringe). I was so exhausted, and, looking at my sales figures for that night which were still stuck at 4 tickets, I suddenly felt paralysed, like if I took another step I might collapse. It felt like I had nowhere to escape. Before the Fringe I set up a WhatsApp group called “I Might Need A Hug At Some Point This Month”.
I hit the panic button and one of my friends came and fished me out of the rain, sat me in his dressing room (where his show has the rare Fringe luxury of a sofa and a radiator), handed me a snack and a hot drink and it all felt a little bit less overwhelming.
So I would say the best thing about the Fringe has been the sense of community with all the performers and staff who create a real feeling of camaraderie.
Please describe where you’re living this month.
I’m in Leith Walk. When I arrived, my landlord apologised in advance about the seagulls and offered me some earplugs. It wasn’t until 4am when I realised what he meant - they don’t sound like seagulls, they sound like evil humans cackling and laughing at you in your sleep. Terrifying stuff. The earplugs have been in since night 2.
Where can I find you at 9am, 9pm and 2am?
9am I’m getting ready for my daytime show. 9pm I’m getting ready for my evening show. 2am I’m usually performing in a cabaret or late night variety show. If that sounds tiring, it is, but fear not I have lots of sleeping time scheduled for September.
Tell us something about you that would surprise people.
SK Shlomo is not just a hip-hop alias, my actual name is Shlomo. It’s the most Jewish name in the world – if I was in Israel it would be about as exotic as being called Steve the Beatboxer.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
What’s the last thing you do at night?
Try and figure out how many shows I’m doing the next day, where I need to be when
and, crucially, whether I’m going to get more than four hours of sleep.
SK Shlomo: Surrender is at Underbelly Cowgate (Venue 61) until 23 August. Today 10:10pm. Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids,
is at Underbelly Bristo Quare (Venue 302) until 18 August. Today 3.35pm. SK Shlomo will also perform at the
Scotsman Fringe Awards, Pleasance Beyond, on Friday 23 August, at 10am