Tomás Ford is surely the only man that can simultaneously embody the maniacal scientist while keeping his audience on side. The room is full of love as Ford – in patchwork Hi Vis jacket – gets the music pumping, does some high kicks, and chats with us.
Tomás Ford’s Craptacular! delivers the madness of the award-winning cabaret artist’s Electric Cabaret with the guilty pleasure of Crap Music Rave Party. As Ford sings, shrieks, breaks down and bounces back, the audience laughs, sings along, engages in intense eye contact, and generally embraces the weirdness.
Songs such as “Hello”, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”, “I Gotta Feelin’”, and “True Blue” are performed with the vigor of someone who truly loves them. But, as he tells us, and words on screen remind us, Ford really does hate them. To him, they’re the “worst songs of all time”.
Ford is not the kind of performer that stays on stage, rigid and remote. This guy is all over the room. He’s on chairs, on laps and charging down the aisle. Costume changes are rapid. The roadhouse tea towel jacket is truly special, but the makeshift apron – created with the assistance of a keen audience member – is the winner.
You may be wondering why he needs an apron. Well, Ford gets spectacularly wet during one song. It’s hilarious, and the orange rubbish bag taped to his front is only barely effective. Yes, he also shares the dampness, but only in the form of a hair flick here and there.
This is a juggernaut of a performance. Set against the ramshackle backdrop of packing boxes and askew projector screen, it is relentlessly energising. You get the sense that nothing could impede it.
Ford’s trademark move of leading – and singing – the audience out of the venue at the end of the show has us gathered together in the courtyard. We’re happy, he is happy, and with a little encouragement from the crowd, he treats us to a serenade that connects everyone in joyous rapture.
This is a thrilling performance that only Tomás Ford could deliver. Guaranteed to enthrall, horrify, and delight, it is not to be missed.
Words by Jasmine Seabrook-Benson
First published on Buzzcuts
‘Tomás Ford’s Craptacular!’ runs February 10-13 and 17-20 in the Bok Choy Ballroom at Noodle Palace. Tickets available here