Review | Tomás Ford’s CHASE!

Tomás Ford’s CHASE! | Noodle Palace | Until Feb 19 | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Damn Tomás Ford is a weirdo. I mean, this is a guy who has made a career out of being sweaty, confrontational and making Crap Rave Music Parties. What on Earth is this dark, soulful narrative based spy thriller malarkey he’s showing this Fringe?! Put simply: it is evolution, baby.

Tomás Ford’s CHASE! is a wonderfully hysterical multimedia extravaganza that mashes film noir, Aussie humour and some wonderful written music. In this production, Ford combines theatre, cabaret and musical sensibilities to great effect. Yes, these are all the things that Ford is known and loved for, but here Ford combines them all effortlessly, harnessing that lovable larrikin aspect of himself to bring the show all together.

And what a show it is! From Ford going full Wolf Creek on a mate in his back shed to chasing down his lover, Claire, from Paris to Dublin to Onslow and Ellenbrook, Tomás Ford’s CHASE! has a witty edge, a nostalgic flair and the kinda gutsy ambition one needs to execute big ballad numbers brilliantly.

Personal highlights were pretty much any time Ford opened his mouth in-between songs: his blokey banter, imbued with an extra deeper dose of testosterone, is a new kinda Ford. A more rugged, out-door, four wheeler kinda Ford. A Ford that terrifies and titillates.

Song wise there are some real gems in this show. The Sniper Song is pure lyrical genius while The Mercy Song is eloquent, strong and sincere. Both have a haunting sophistication, an emotional impact, an incredible edge.

Malaysian super pop princess Ze also makes a cameo, musically and onscreen, a much needed dose of heavenly femininity amid all the man-talk. In fact, all of the black and white footage accompanying this show is of a top notch calibre, although the writing during the hilarious Street Fighter II sequence could perhaps be slowed down a touch.

Don’t worry… there are still moments where Ford will scream in an audience members face or play a cabaret game of such exciting proportions it makes you yearn for the old Ford. But such nostalgia is quickly replaced by the fact that this new Ford – this moody, grand narrative wizard who writes really really good pop songs – is a maturing version of the incredible cretin we love to get sweated on from.

The new Ford is just emerging, and Tomás Ford’s Chase is the entrée of what promises to be a spectacular evolution. Mind you, both versions of Fords are still weirdos… but that’s why we love him so much.

Tomás Ford’s CHASE! is at the Noodle Palace Laksa Lounge until Sunday February 19th. Tickets and more information available from fringeworld.com.au

Scott-Patrick Mitchell

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