Fringe Review – A Boy Named Cash (rating: 5/5)
There are some acts we all wished we had seen. For me, Johnny Cash is one of them. Well, I reckon I can just about tick that box after seeing Monty Cotton.
The young man from Perth, Australia, is said to have “woken one day in 2012 and realised he could imitate Johnny Cash”. Since then he has performed all around the world and was a contestant on the Australian version of The Voice.
From the opening line of Folsom Prison Blues the similarity was uncanny. He delivers perfect renditions of Walk the Line, A Boy Named Sue, and Ring of Fire, as well as Cash’s tender version of Hurt, written by Nine Inch Nails.
It is not just the voice, but the full-blooded acoustic guitar rasps that gave this performance an added authenticity.
This is an hour of sheer joy, even if you’re not a Cash fan. Cotton could have provided value for money by simply playing a straight set of Cash classics.
Instead he weaves in some entertaining takes on the Cash legend, including one section he calls “Cash Converted” in which he plays songs volunteered by the audience and sung in the Cash style. So, among others, we had Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall and Beyonce’s Single Ladies.
There was also the obligatory audience participation which involved one female ‘volunteer’ singing the part of Cash’s wife June Carter in Jackson, and the audience divided to join in the chorus of Ghost Riders in the Sky.
One of the best shows at the Fringe this year.
A Boy Named Cash is at theSpace Niddry Street until August 26