If you’re looking for a show that combines a minister, a ventriloquist, a medium and a hopeless radio show host, then Tom Binns wears all of these costumes and tells jokes at the same time. Binns is a long-established writer and comedian, best known for Ivan Brackenbury, the radio star of Hospital People on the BBC. The combination of genius writing and perfect comic timing makes each and every one of Binns’ characters undeniably hilarious. In this show, Brackenbury and friends invite the audience to celebrate their 10th year in the Fringe (one year late).

Opening the line up is Father Kenny, who ‘blesses’ the show and introduces the other characters. His intro is short, but quickly settles the audience in and establishes the format of the show. Following Father Kenny is Ian D Montfort, the 100% totally legitimate psychic out to connect members of the audience, not with their long dead relatives, but with long dead total strangers. Sporting the emblem of the wolf, Montfort is a fantastic parody of the Derek Acorah over-the-top theatrical medium. It’s perfect.

Binns also displays his talent for ventriloquism. Unfortunately for him, the puppet of his dad has a speech impediment, meaning he is unable to pronounce the letter B. Again, Binns has expert comic timing, and the absurd set-up makes for a laugh out loud experience. I won’t spoil Brackenbury’s set for those who don’t know him, but it is guaranteed to have you screaming with laughter. Binns has a winner of a show here: if you’re going to see a comedy hour this year, make it this one.

Words: Catriona Davidson

Ivan Brackenbury’s 10 Year Anniversary Party with Tom Binns, Ian D Montfort and Friends, Assembly George Square Studios, Aug 23-28, 1pm

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