"Chat-show satire hits the mark"
by Owen Kingston for remotegoat on 14/07/15

According the Selah theatre's website, 'Selah' means 'to pause and think', which 'The Thomas Clifford Show' certainly delivers on.

Ostensibly a simple comedy, Thomas Clifford pokes fun at the chat show medium. Cast in the role of studio audience, the audience are whipped into a frenzy over stars we have never heard of, and as the jokes keep rolling it becomes clear that these individuals have nothing to commend them to us – no talents whatsoever.

But the show goes deeper than that. A shock twist drags us into the serious underworld of celebrity television and throws everyone's dirty laundry out onto the stage, leaving us with no doubt as to where the real problem with junk TV lies.

What is particularly special about Thomas Clifford is the way that it deftly walks the tightrope of good humour over the pit of damning self-realisation. This is a show designed to shock us into realising how unhealthy and damaging junk TV can be – a timely message when programming schedules are becoming ever-more crammed with ever-more barrel-scraped trash. But it delivers its message in good humour, and keeps us laughing all the way to the end, while the very human responses of its vile and unpalatable characters keep us sympathetic to them throughout the most damaging revelations.

While the message of Thomas Clifford is a damning one, it's execution is upbeat and hopeful - Selah have managed to create here a rare and wonderful thing: a powerful message packaged inside a fun night out.

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