Wednesday, 14 August 2019

EDINBURGH FRINGE REVIEW: Could It Be Magic? at Just the Tonic at The Caves

For my 5th day at the Fringe and 32nd to 34th shows I planned an afternoon of magic. 1st up was the Just Tonic venue at the Cave in the vault under the bridge for an important annual event. The Magic Ring Magic Society 2019 competition between four international magicians in a show called "Could it be Magic".

The host of the event and a past winner was Reg Kettle, a northern magician in a green Fez and the first finalist from an intensive selection of ten's of entrants. He even has a catchphrase "sounds proper lovely". His familiar tricks of converting a £20 note into a $100 bill and guess the numbers were executed with all the charm of a Wheel Tappers and Shunters club chairman. 

Next up was the American tattooed mind reader Zanto Thorne daringly recreating the Darren Brown trick of slamming his hand on a bag with a spike in it before guessing the word from an invisible book selected by an audience member.

Then we meet Klaus Fantastich- the German sword swallower and a man who turns IronBru into CocaCola ( other sparkling drinks are available). Finally it is the turn of the tragic story of former Thames TV Magic star Colin now sadly separated from Carol whose catchphrase "the strongest magic is their love" now seems sadly poignant. He predicts the card from a deck by throwing balls of paper at the audience and then recreates the cup and ball trick made famous by Tommy Cooper with a clever final twist. 

It's all done with great comic style that is engaging and entertaining before getting the audience to cheer for the winner which of course he has already predicted. It is performed by one man and the presentation is a clever reworking of some very old tricks with some good video links.

The winner of Could it be magic then in my mind took on Paul Zenon at Le Monde and in my view narrowly won before being beaten by Pete Firmin at the Pleasance Courtyard completing my own International magic competition at the Fringe.

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★★★

Seat: unreserved | Price of Ticket: £8
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