Up ‘til now, I had only ever seen Tom Crosbie perform short spots at Fringe cabaret shows where his skill with a Rubik’s Cube and his awkward, amiable persona intrigued me. Could this guy really hold the attention of an audience for a whole hour with only some 80’s era puzzle toys (invented in the 70’s but licenced in 1980) and some nerdy humour? The answer is a resounding yes.
Crosbie has the fastest hands in the business.
Crosbie, resplendent in mustard pullover and thick black-rimmed glasses could have walked straight out of Central Casting - he’s everything you picture when you hear the word ‘nerd’. However, he’s here to make it clear that there’s more to being a nerd than arguments about Trek vs Wars (learn to love them both!) or if The Thing could beat The Hulk in a fight (he couldn’t - Stan Lee said so). We can all be nerds in our own way, whether that’s football, theatre, or, you got it, Rubik’s Cubes. Crosbie has dedicated his life to mastering these popular puzzles that sit unsolved in cupboards and toy boxes across the world and he’s really nailed it. He’s quick enough at solving them that it genuinely seems like magic but he goes to great efforts to show us the technique involved. I recently (and quite proudly) solved a Rubik’s Cube myself but watching him do so is a revelation. Crosbie has the fastest hands in the business.
The performance revolves around four historical geniuses who were certainly all nerds in their own way; physics, cryptography, language and an obsessive polymath. Each is used to frame a section of the show leading to a lovely reveal that impresses upon us Crosbie’s skills. As can be expected from a show like this; it’s all leading to a final reveal that he’s already become known for, but I certainly won’t spoil it here for those who don’t know.
Crosbie is a charming and likeable fellow and it’s a pleasure to spend an hour in his company. He seems genuinely delighted to have an attentive audience who are engaged in watching him show off his abilities and I’ll most definitely make a point of watching his career with a nerdy obsession.