Ian D. Montfort – Unbelievable: Fringe Review


Mind-Reading, Not Mind-Bending


Ian D. Montfort is the well-established character from comedian Tom Binns. Taking character comedy to a higher level, Montfort is a self-described spirit medium who can speak to people who are beyond the veil. In a performance that parodies the elusive profession, Binns is not only funny but surprisingly impressive.

His current show focuses on Montfort relaying messages from dead celebrities to members of the audience. Whilst it would be easier for him to create comedy through the poor quality of his mind-reading skills, it is instead brought on through the interaction with his audience, picking on individuals and sharing their secrets to cause great embarrassment.

Given the random nature of the show, Binns’ ability to ad-lib and remain in character is admirable and illustrates a keen mental agility. However, the softly spoken Sunderland accent that he dons for the performance struggled to keep the performance engaging. Binns has clearly spent a lot of time developing his mind-reading skills, but this has cost him comically. Where previous character Hospital DJ Ivan Brackenbury was fast-paced and incredibly funny, Ian D. Montfort lacks that same punch. Many of the responses he used against the audience appeared Pavlovian and unoriginal, while his overemphasis on audience interaction became slightly repetitive towards the end of the show.

Taken from Broadway Baby, published Aug 2012.