Edinburgh Fringe 2023
A captivating performance that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief but with a big smile on your face from the fun that you had with three truly entertaining magicians.
Audiences are perennially fascinated by sleight of hand and illusions. Magic crosses all generations and all cultures. The youngest among us were weaned on the wizard magic of Harry Potter, with tongue-twister spells like Alohomora, Expelliarmus and Avada Kedavra (the most evil one). Older generations watched American Harry Blackstone, whose shows relied on simple illusions without elaborate production values. The more traditional magicians uttered abracadabra, hocus-pocus, and open sesame when producing their tricks. However it is declared, the result can be head-spinning for those who are not part of the magic inner circle.
Magic goes back thousands of years to ancient Egypt and Greece. Performers like Harry Houdini and Doug Henning were part of the modern renaissance of the art. Chris Angel and David Copperfield have designed large production illusion-focused shows that have played to enormous crowds in Las Vegas theatres for many years.
Three young UK magicians are carrying on the magic tradition. Each of them has an independent career in entertainment. Cameron Gibson is the mentalist, billed as The Mind-Reader, with five years at the Fringe. Most recently he was the creative lead, consultant and head magician on two immersive magic installations, Illusionarium in Toronto, Canada, and Magic Immersive in Chicago, U.S.A.. Elliot Bibby, billed as the The Scottish Magician, has been performing at the Edinburgh Fringe for 10 years running. In 2018 he won the International Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring Close-Up Magician of the Year. In 2022 he was the winner of the ‘Sonny Day Edinburgh Magician of the Year’, the Edinburgh Magic Circle’s annual contest for close-up magicians. Luke Osey, The Stunt Magician, is a writer for top magicians around the globe. His visual magic has been viewed nearly one billion times online, going viral on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. The three have come together to produce a multi-faceted show for this year’s Fringe.
Right out the gate their show launches with an illusion, producing one of the magicians from what appears to be an empty cage – until it’s not! We meet these three funny, affable, and friendly young men. We’re told that magic exists in the imagination. Like scientists who solve mysteries by assembling the facts as puzzles, magicians use their knowledge of the world to create the mysteries.
I won’t spoil the show by detailing the all of the tricks. Suffice it to say, they range from close up magic with cards, mind-reading that is truly mind-blowing, and illusions. The tricks are enhanced with music, costuming, and props, some of which are as ordinary as a chalk board. And even with their honed skills, the presentations don’t always go as planned, but they manage the surprises well.
The captivating performance is not reliant on just the props and routines. The finesse is in the delivery and the drama of the pieces. Each one of the magicians has a captivating personality and is clearly on a mission to make the hour fun and surprising for the audience.
There are two routines that I can reveal. In one part of the show, the Mind-Reader is able to not only guess the name initials of people randomly chosen in the audience, but correctly identifies one woman’s childhood dream of her adult career. The other piece of magic interaction with the audience involves each person in tearing and shuffling papers – with astounding results. This routine is part of the famous TV and Las Vegas show duo Penn and Teller’s program. And this Fringe trio pulls it off perfectly.
You will leave shaking your head in disbelief but with a big smile on your face from the fun that you had with three truly entertaining magicians.
This show is currently in its first UK tour, with dates including fringe festivals in Edinburgh, Llandudno and Durham Fringe Festival, plus shows in Glasgow & Henley-On-Thames.