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.

WHERE & WHEN:

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

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