Tomás Ford in Kuala Lumpur
Perth’s favourite homegrown electro-punk-cabaret garbage fire Tomás Ford returns to Fringe World this February with his new hour Tomás Ford In Kuala Lumpur. Featuring his most personal collection of songs to date, the show was written over a series of trips to Malaysia. It’s a hyper-personal travelogue, covering the myriad ways that his life got weird in 2019.
Those myriad ways include (but are not limited to):
He won a Malaysian VIMA Music Award (for best Dance track). It’s basically a Malaysian ARIA and he was as surprised about it as you are, but it’s a big deal and he got a glass statue and everything. So there you go.
He toured around New Zealand and Australia with his hit hyperactive comedy dance party Crap Music Rave Party all year.
He spent ages working on his “Netflix For Weirdos” Normal Place, which hit all kinds of massive setbacks – it finally launches on Valentines’ Day with the Informal Formal at the Edith Spiegeltent.
His son went through Year 8. As you can imagine, his house has been FULL of puberty.
He got diagnosed with ADHD and that freaked him out completely, as you might imagine for a work-obsessed control freak. It also turns out that taking medical-grade speed every day has ups and downs of its' own. Mostly ups. Really tippertoppy ups.
His wife got diagnosed with some kind of... god, we don't even know what it is yet. But it suuuuucks, whatever it is. Luckily it has resulted in some kickass songs, but that's hardly a substitute for her not having to deal with such a god-awful pain in the ass.
He made a bunch of bad decisions and got himself into a bunch of showbiz debt (again).
In the depths of all that, he ran off with his wife and son to Malaysia on a prestigious AsiaLink Creative Exchange, split between the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre and the Rainforest Fringe in Kuching. He’d left Perth with the idea of writing a high concept one-man musical like his spy thriller Chase! There was gonna be an adventure through Borneo, he was gonna skewer colonialism and all that stuff. But he didn’t end up writing that show at all.
Tomás had made the fatal mistake of packing a ukulele. He hates ukulele; we all hate ukulele, but it was the only stringed instrument he could fit in his suitcase. He thought he’d work out songs on it and then rearrange them with his synths as per his usual. Not this time – uke-in-hand, he exorcised a whole run of songs in a week, diarising all of the aforementioned weirdness and his many misadventures around the Kuala Lumpur. Despite (or because of) their fast genesis, he considers them his best writing to date. That’s quite a feat, given as though the songs are all stubbornly forcing him to shred on the uke.
Tomás heads back to KL in December and January to continue work on the show. He’ll be animating the shows’ projections, fleshing out his arrangements, having more misadventures and working on his pre-school level Bahasa Malaysia.
Tomás Ford in Kuala Lumpur plays at 9:40pm in Girls School’s Library from February 3-9 during Fringe World, ahead of touring in Malaysia and New Zealand. Tickets are on sale now from fringeworld.com.au .
9:40pm, February 3-9.
The Library at Girls School, 2 Wellington Street
East Perth WA 6004