Review Edinburgh Fringe Ian D Montfort and Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells for Two

Tom Binns is Ian D Montfort: Psychic Fayre

Tom Binns at the Pleasance Courtyard

A crowded room, slightly darkened, a tense air of expectation and then out pops Ian D Montfort.  Psychic.  But for those who are a bit worried about psychics don't worry, he's not.  He's an excellent comedian and an excellent magician.  Just to give you an indication of how excellent he is in both spheres anyone who has seen him will realise his skills at comedy but how many will appreciate that they have just seen a range of magic tricks superbly employed?

In the past Montfort has contacted the spirits of famous people who have passed on - well at least we've all heard of them and we can enjoy it rather more than listening to Uncle Ned forget where he left the will!  But none of that this time, it's a new show but it's just as hilarious.  If you've ever been to a spiritualist meeting the setting and general patter will seem spot on, perhaps a little too true for some as I'm sure some of the members of the audience on the day that I was there were convinced it was the real deal!

A few lucky (!) people get their innermost thoughts and secrets revealed to us and one poor skeptic is shown the error of his ways.

If you're a Fortean then this is the show for your - you'll recognise the cultish messiah personality, the methods of spirit communication (except perhaps doodleology) and if you're really lucky you'll recognise your innermost thoughts...

Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells for Two

Underbelly, Bristo Square

Forty years on from the original release of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (so much more than just a bit of music used in The Exorcist) and we have what I guess passes for the closest we are going to get to an anniversary tour - Oldfield hasn't toured for many years, although he did perform to great critical acclaim in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.  Also this performance is in many ways far more ambitious than anything Oldfield has attempted.  An incredibly complex musical piece to achieve in the confines of a studio performing it live must have been a nightmare for Oldfield, although he has performed it on many tours, but always with a number of people helping out, quite understandabl.  The two of this show's title are Australians Daniel Holdsworth and Aidan Roberts and they perform the entire album, both sides and the Sailor's Hornpipe, by themselves in an hour.  This is no mean feat.

To accomplish their task Holdsworth and Roberts must constantly dash around the stage, all the while avoiding instruments and keeping up to pace with the music.  Thye must sweat a couple of pints during the sell out performance, so despite the range of circus on offer this possibly ranks as one of the most physically demanding for the performers (mind with the heat of the venue it's no easy ticket for the audience either).  They made a couple of mistakes in the performance I saw but nothing to deter from the brilliance that we were witnessing and as they quipped, if you'd seen the show before at least you would witness different mistakes!

Quite frankly the quite unassuming Australians set themselves a mammoth task just trying to recreate Tubular Bells live on stage.  They then realised this wasn't hard enough and opted for just the two of them performing it.  And it works.  It works so well.  This is the tail end of a tour they have been taking through the UK and I know other venues have had an encore, but due to the timing of Fringe shows having to be on and then off so the next show can start we were robbed of that.  A great shame. 

Basically, to sum it up, I liked it.  A lot.  And i think I may even go again...

If you know and love Tubular Bells I urge you to see this show.  If you don't know Tubular Bells then this is the perfect way to discover it, see this show.

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