Edinburgh Fringe 2019
Mind-bending tricks and knock-about comedy from two masters of their art.
The Speakeasy at the Voodoo Rooms is packed to the gunnels as Griffin and Jones bustle about, issuing each arriving guest with a yellow piece of paper and then persuading everyone to open their wallets and each contribute a receipt for something they bought recently that they have no further need of. Nothing like a bit of mystery and subterfuge to get a magic show off to a flying start.
And, boy, do we fly for the next hour or so. Flat out. The verbal dexterity of this impressive double act would be worth the free admission alone, but when they start throwing in tricks of mind-blowing complexity you really do think that they’re underselling themselves a bit with their strapline of “surprisingly good magicians”.
Yes, you know it’s all an illusion, that they somehow manage to divert your attention at key moments so that some subterfuge can be effected but there really is nothing like watching a couple of masters of the art of deception do just that.
The banter and badinage flows apace, clever one-liners abound, there’s a real chemistry between them and their engaging patter and interaction with all manner of audience members is natural and very funny. They think very quickly on their feet too, both when the things that are supposed to go wrong go wrong in the way they intended them to and when the opposite occurs, as it inevitably will in a show like this, given the number of variables they are having to deal with.
Their energy and enthusiasm for their profession is infectious too, creating an audible buzz that persists throughout the show. They cleverly plant a series of ideas/concepts in our minds that they then return to as they deliver tricks with cards, tricks claiming to read a person’s mind, some clever stuff involving those bits of yellow paper we’re all clutching and a rather impressive denouement featuring a stuffed racoon.
It’s energetic, frenetic and really good fun. And you exit being none the wiser in terms of how they’ve managed to pull it off. The queue for this show stretched around the block and your lucky reviewer grabbed the last available space – whilst around 100 got to see the show, many more than that were turned away. So, Griffin and Jones must be surprisingly good magicians after all.