Festival Favourites

Words Kate Copstick     

12 years at the Fringe. That’s a LOT of tricks. Surely it’s much harder for a magician to come up with a new trick than it is for a comic to come up with a new joke?

The hardest thing is trying not to repeat myself. There are only so many ‘plots’ in magic…production, disappearance, transformation, transposition, mentalism/mind reading etc,
So it’s finding different ways to do those things and have the tricks mean something to a 2019 audience. If only we could still get away with silky hankies and sparkly boxes.

The idea of this year’s show seems like a magical deathwish! You’re doing each show as a double act with a Muggle? Why?

Well, I’m previewing it at the moment and I’m learning it’s not as straightforward as I first thought! I quite like not knowing what to expect and for years I’ve wanted to work with a partner on stage. Being in a double act opens up a whole new gamut of tricks. Also, unlike most double acts, if I hate them I can swap them for a new person the following night.

Is this what you always wanted to be?

I thought I wanted to be an actor through College and University, but I always did magic alongside to make a bit of cash. My main focus switched to magic when a TV producer cast me in a magic series after I sent him a pretty ropey homemade showreel. Acting fell by the wayside and I’ve been a full-time wizard ever since.

Who inspired you?

I think the magicians who were on TV when I was young and meant the most to me were Penn & Teller. They had a series on Channel 4 in the 90s and it was the antithesis of any magic show or magic performance I’d ever seen. Smart, funny, edgy, slightly disgusting. It was like discovering a really cool band.

This year you misdirecting types are everywhere! You’re all over Britain’s Got Talent – good thing? Bad thing?

It’s a good thing. It seems like BGT is your only option as a specialist act to get a spot on mainstream TV, so I can see why it’s appealing. If the magic is good, then the public remember they like magic and go out and see live shows. So it helps us all.


Pleasance Beyond, 8 pm. 31st July–25 Aug, from £9

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