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Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Tom Binns is Ian D. Montfort – Touching the Dead

Tom Binns

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard


Low Down

 Tom Binns makes a wondrous return to the Fringe, taking on the new character of Ian D. Montfort, the Sunderland Psychic.  The show is a spectacular tour-de-force, showcasing Binn’s exceptional acting and comedic talent, and at the same time providing a creative challenge to those claiming to be mediums.  Ian D. Montfort demonstrates convincingly that you don’t have to be ‘psychic’ to read minds or ‘talk’ to the dead; which leaves mediums in a tricky position.  This show is of the highest quality on every single level.  Do not miss it!


Tom Binns has already proven himself to be a character comedy master.  His previous show (which also runs again at the Fringe this year), ‘Tom Binns in Ivan Brackenbury’s Hospital Radio Remix’ was a sell out, and critically acclaimed in 2008/09, and his new show is of the same astoundingly high quality. 
In ‘Touching the Dead’, Tom plays Ian D. Montfort, the Sunderland Psychic.   He is a perfectly observed slightly hapless, and yet slightly suspicious character, energetic on stage – almost agitated – and yet full to overflowing with that ethereal ‘spiritualism’ which many mediums sport.  If you were to imagine Kurt Cobain crossed with a field mouse and a caretaker from the North East, you’d be somewhere in the area of the character, but in truth nothing can properly sum up the genius here at work.  Popular mediums such as Derrek Acorah and Joe Power (who was booed off the stage at the Assembly press launch last week) have been the inspiration not just for the act, but for the superb detailing of the script as well.  Perhaps it’s just a side-effect from ‘talking to dead people’, but such acts do seem to always make horrendous grammatical mistakes, and they are picked up and parodied excellently by the superb talent that is Binns.
But there is more to the show than mere award winning hilarity and masterful acting.  Binns has also teamed up with critically acclaimed mentalist, Philip Escofey, and the result is spectacular.  If you were expecting a character who merely makes the best out of floundering guesswork, you’d be sorely mistaken.  There are indeed elements of that, but there are some amazing surprises in store as Montfort succeeds in reading people’s minds (with the help of his spirit guide, Jeoff), leaving the audience completely baffled.  Amusingly, I think some were even wondering if they might have misread the listing and actually ended up with a ‘genuine psychic’.  But this is of course not the case.  The amazing effectivity of the show is simply what happens when two fantastic talents strike gold.  Ultimately, everything in this show right down to the entry music is superbly fitting and accurately captured.  Definitely one to catch.