Presented by Tomás Ford, Captain of Industry
Reviewed 27 February 2015
Tomás Ford is one hell of a showman. He has no qualms about forcing audience members to do his bidding, stepping over their chairs and screaming in their faces… and I love it.
Electric Cabaret was born as part of the Edinburgh Fringe as a sort-of “psychotic breakdown meets industrial techno show”. It is a cabaret performance made mostly of Ford’s catchy yet brutal originals and a few cover songs here and there. What makes the show stand out though is the David Lynch-esque projections and general atmosphere of the digital surreal.
Ford himself is flamboyant, eccentric and perhaps even off-kilter. His zest for the performing arts, especially the weird side of it, shines through in everything he does. Although he definitely doesn’t have the most technically flawless vocal delivery, he makes up for it with some amazing roars and un-conventional hollering.
The contrast between high-tech and lo-fi in this unique cabaret show is one of its greatest strengths. Through the use of a (rather temperamental) system of digital synths, keyboards and drum machines Ford is able to bring acoustic sensibilities to the digital realm, and vice-versa. It brings some chaos to the show; a bit of unpredictability that greatly adds to Ford’s act.
The highlight of the show was the industrial poem he recites, written to electricians about a fallen power line near his house. It showcases his abilities to both write incredibly fluid and moving pieces, and to perform them with an almost insane enthusiasm.
This isn’t a show for the socially anxious. It drags you from your comfort zone, forces you to interact with your fellow audience members and come face to face with the madness in Ford’s eyes. That’s what cabaret’s good for though, right? Where would the genre be without audience interaction?
Electric Cabaret is definitely not like any other cabaret show you’ve seen, and that’s what makes it great.
Reviewed by James Rudd
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue: Tuxedo Cat – Mayall Room, 54 Hyde St, Adelaide
Season: 27 February – 8 March 2015
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $18 – $23, Artists Free
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)