Fresh Fringe Review for Ian D Montfort

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Ian D. Montfort – Unbelievable

Ian D. Montford is a pseudo-scientific psychic played by Tom Binns. Undeniably, the show is very funny – Binns’ creation is a slightly camp portrayal of the archetypal stage psychic; highlights in his hair, loose purple trousers billowing in the breeze of the air conditioning – but then Montfort starts saying things that he can’t possibly know about members of the audience.

Unbelievable is enjoyable on two levels: firstly, the character of Montfort is brilliantly observed and played to perfection. Quickly having to react to the audience (as well as the many spirits he contacts during the show), every response is razor sharp. Montfort’s occasional disdain for the recipients of his paranormal messages sometimes shines through in a sarcastic aside or a certain tone to his speech. The character is very nuanced despite the large capacity for caricature and over-exaggeration in the field of stage psychics. Binns reins it in, and in doing so lends his act a strange sense of believability.

The appeal of the mind-reading element of the show is strange. Most of the audience going to a comedy psychic are probably pretty firmly on the side of skepticism, but there is certainly something very enjoyable about seeing someone seemingly read the minds of members of the audience and wonder how he does it, an even more appealing prospect when encapsulated in a winning character like Montfort.

Since the show is largely centred around audience interaction, it’s perhaps not for everyone if they’re not looking for an interactive experience. However, for those able to fully commit to an evening with a very funny mind reader and ghost whisperer (and the secrets he might unveil about them), there is certainly a great deal to enjoy in Unbelievable.

Ian D. Montfort -Unbelievable
Pleasance Courtyard
August 3-26 6.35pm (1h5m)
£14 (£12)

reviewed by Brad Jones

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