FRINGE REVIEW – Tom Binns as Ian D Montford, Spirit Comedium

*****

Scarily, the most hilarious psychic I’ve ever seen. Even more scarily, the most accurate. All that and he doesn’t even claim to be the real thing?

The genius mind of Tom Binns, who most famously brought us Ivan Brackenbury, has returned to this years festival with Ian D Montfort’s. I’ll admit that I saw Ian’s show last years and thought it was amazing, so returning to watch the sequel, I was anxious to see if this year’s performance would come close. It surpassed my expectations. By far.

Mr. Montfort is the most perfected stage character I’ve ever witnessed. Tom has clearly found his feet in this role now as the 60 minute performance flows with perfection. He’s able to veer off script and deal with any of the bizarre situations and ‘thoughts’ thrown at him with seeming ease. Everything he says isn’t just perfectly accurate, it’s all delivered with flawless wit.

Some ‘magic’ related shows claim to be a ‘comedy’ as the performer demonstrates impressive routines with a few throw away lines and while there is nothing wrong with that, Tom Binns is the epitome of what a comedy mind reader should be. He has crafted a faultless guise who kept the entire audience in fits of hysterics, barely giving them an opportunity to stop and gasp at how incredible his skills actually are.

Tom has designed the show to play in the style of all the so called ‘psychics’ we’re all accustomed to, so the performance is completely raw and to the point. While others have played the part of the comedy psychic before, no one has relied entirely on direct audience participation. Ian D Montfort doesn’t just rely on it, the show thrives on it.

Ian’s closing line sets to answer any question as to whether-or-not he really is psychic and as funny as this line is, I believe that much of the audience leaves non the wiser. For all we know, maybe he is psychic and he’s just toying with us?

Regardless of how he does it, I have no doubt that this character is just going to continue getting stronger with every performance. This show has become and absolute highlight of the Edinburgh Festival and with a masterful blend of both areas of performance, it is completely unmissable.

By Colin McLeod

Until 28th August, 1815 @ Pleasance Courtyard

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