COMEDY FESTIVAL REVIEW: Ian D Montfort at Firebug, Leicester, February 8
Comedy psychic Ian D Montfort is the creation of Tom Binns (also known as hospital radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury).
His act is genuinely impressive in many ways.
Firstly it lampoons with great precision the tricks of the cold-reader, opening a segment of the show with "I'm looking for a Michael or Dave or John or Stuart...", blatantly covering as many bases as possible; and gently condescending audience members who don't provide the answers he expects, making it seem like their fault.
Also impressive is the way he comes up with facts about audience members that he would reasonably have no way of knowing, provoking the question "How the hell does he do that?"
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When this was vocalised by an audience member, his response was simply: "I'm psychic, that's the show. Didn't you read the description before you came?"
Audience interaction was generally smooth, apart from one new trick using tarot cards, in which he found himself admitting his need to write new material to cover unexpected outcomes.
The jokes, though not thick and fast, were of a high standard, many of them with a dark edge, as with his other character Ivan.
His most successful gags tended to came off the back of an apparently failed attempt at cold-reading - but it's the stuff he gets right that makes this possible.
He wows you, then when you're expecting to be wowed again, he confounds those expectations with a cleverly constructed joke, and it works very well.