Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Two Victorian magicians have come forward 100 years in their time machine to perform their works of mystery and intrigue. Morgan and West present classic card tricks, a daring escape, mindreading, seeing with the hand and many more curiosities. Anyone drawn to the title, i.e. excited by both magicians and time travel, won’t be disappointed!
Morgan and West: Time Travelling Magicians is a family friendly magic show with tricks both classic, such as the cup and ball, the bullet catch(!) and familiar card tricks, as well as inventive ideas such as the daring balloon escape. It’s a slick, fun afternoon adventure in magic.
The show has a nice pace where audience-involved tricks are broken up with small vignettes. In these moments, a time travel manual in voice over is demonstrated metaphorically with slight of hand and humour. There is a rope trick to show the dangers of a time loop and a very well crafted coin trick that moves back and forward in time.
Morgan and West were immediately likeable and put the (sold out) audience at their ease. I would like to have seen a bit more Victoriana in their language and attitude as the old world turns of phrase they did use were enjoyed thoroughly. During interactions with volunteers there seemed to be little spontaneity or banter outside of the script where there could have been. However, their exchanges with each other were well crafted and elicited a lot of laughter and appreciation.
The lighting and soundtrack punctuated the show well with comedy highlights; changing up the pace to keep everyone interested. The staging was simple as there was a large chest on end in the middle of the stage housing everything our magicians needed. For me, I would like to have felt a little deeper in Victorian company and it would be an easy task to replace modern envelopes, books etc. with something that looked in keeping with the premise; especially in this era where steampunk is a la mode.
Classic tricks were given new life with the framing device of Victorian time travel and new tricks were born. As a magic show, it is accomplished and welcoming, not showoffey at all. Morgan and West have a great chemistry with one another and I am sure that the whole crowd including the children thoroughly enjoyed the show.
I personally really enjoyed these time travelling magicians. I thought the look, feel and comedy of the show were accessible and fun and I will be recommending it to my friends. As discussed I think there’s scope for more freedom and spontaneity and the Victorian framing is so great that it should be taken further.