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Tomás Ford: Electric Midnight Cabaret review

Just the Tonic at the Caves

The beautiful madness of ‘An Audience with Tomás Ford’ was one of the 2012 Fringe’s unanticipated delights. Situated in what can only be described as a weird fusion of Tardis and porn dungeon at the back of a pub, it was less a collection of songs and patter than a wildly ambitious in-your-face mash-up of techno-experimentation, house party and euphoric group therapy session, and earned the Australian performer a TO&ST nomination on his Edinburgh debut. This year, Ford is in a somewhat classier venue – though, this being Edinburgh, it’s still basically a cellar – and what’s lost in trapped-in-a-lift intensity is made up for in details like being able to actually see the dynamic and inventive video backdrops Ford creates for his songs, and to hear their lyrics as well his voice, a rich moan flecked with desperation and delight. The urge to connect – the anxieties and misfires of its pursuit, the joy of its achievement – is at the core of the writing, and electrifyingly inscribed in the realisation of the show. Key terms: ‘Nothing bad is happening. Forgive this show. You are not alone.’

And if you like the sound of this, try:

‘After the Apocalypse’, the ingenious new show from the Creative Martyrs – very different to Tomás Ford in style but just as insistent that without your active collaboration, the show can’t go on.

For more from Ben Walters in Edinburgh, follow him @not_television

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Pete Robinson

This is the best show you will see this Festival, what's wrong with you people, get along to the Caves and make sure this excellent Australian performer comes back next year. At only £9 a ticket you won't get better value.