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Tom Basden, a former vice-president of the Cambridge Footlights, is a member of the four-man sketch group Cowards who made his solo Edinburgh debut in 2007 with his musical comedy show Tom Basden Won't Say Anything, which won the if.comedy best newcomer award and was nominated for the following year's Chortle award for best show. He was also nominated for the Chortle best breakthrough award in 2008.
He has written and performed on several TV and radio comedy shows, including Jam & Jerusalem (BBC1), Hyperdrive (BBC2), The Milk Run (Radio 1) and the Cowards’ Radio 4 series.
Tom Basden: Now That's What I Call Music-Based Comedy - Fringe 2009
While I can’t, hand-on-heart, say that the latest solo show from this member of the prolific Cowards sketch troupe has as much atmosphere as his debut, that won him the if.comedy newcomer award in 2007, I can say that the visual gags and most of the songs are of the same standard and so, hand-on-stomach, my comedy gut instincts were certainly touched.
Opting to speak to his audience rather than ‘hide behind’ his overhead projector and comedy song refrains means that Basden walks a tightrope between keeping the almost thousand-yard-stare approach he has adopted and engaging with the room. Despite the ever-so slightly nervy and prickly persona of Basden, he lets the music and pictures do the talking still. His asides are minimal, but just enough to keep this gallery of laughs bubbling along nicely as they merge with the accompanying musical ditties.
In song and in pictures, Basden’s inventive mind gives us sideways glances at all manner of things. He shows us the suggestions you can get on Google searches if you put in questions like ‘Why won’t?’ or ‘Am I allowed?’ and so forth, each one conjuring up searches from the philosophical to the ridiculous.
Visual gags such as the novel way a pie-chart can show percentage are delicious and there’s an irreverent take on America’s first family that is also exquisite. Deft comedy requires genteel words to describe, it seems, and Basden could run the gamut of them all.
The accompanying musical numbers are short and sweet and include his jingles done for unlikely clients like Buddhists. However, his closing number, about queuing, is epic by comparison and denotes the slight sadness and weariness that underpins Basden’s sublime skills at putting the world askew from its axis.
|Date of live review: Tuesday 11th Aug, '09|
Review by Julian Hall
Sunday 25th Jul, '10-
Monday 29th Mar, '10- Charing Cross Theatre
Sunday 13th Sep, '09- 100 Club
Friday 10th Jul, '09- Tabernacle Centre
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 -
Very very very talented; gonna be a v big noise in the future. "Party" was superb; more plays please!
He's amazing. End of.
Fantastic. We tittered like a pair of schoolkids all the way through.
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28/05/2011 Permanent link
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Tom Basden Won't Say Anything
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Tom Basden: Now That's What I Call Music Based Comedy