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Brighton Fringe 2007

Brecht on Magic

Ian Saville

Venue: Komedia Studio



A socialist magic show based on Brecht’s theatrical principles doesn’t exactly sound like an entertaining evening, but Ian Saville’s delight of an act proves that this is entirely wrong.

At the start he claims that in true Brechtian style he will show us the tricks and then tell us how he did them, self-criticising all the way. However, there is no need for him to be cast out of the magic circle; his sorcery is as brilliant and baffling, as any good magician’s should be, and is delivered with a good deal more intelligent humour than your average conjurer.

This is a comedy show with integrity – it is a well rehearsed patter (which acknowledges that it is indeed a pre-prepared script, with all ad libs pre learnt and that ad lib pre learnt, and that one…..) and Ian is very funny indeed. His alter ego, in the form of a ventriloquist’s dummy of Bertolt Brecht (or Durtolt Drecht as he is otherwise known) is also hilarious, and his ventriloquism skills are brilliant, especially during the three way, fast paced conversation between himself, Brecht and Karl Marx.

An incredibly odd premise for a show, but combined with an impeccable delivery and masses of oddball humour, this was one of the funniest pieces of theatre I had seen for a long time. It’s on at the Komedia Studio on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th May, 6.45pm, and is ridiculously cheap at only £5 (£3.50 concs). Go and see it, you don’t need to know anything about Brecht to start with, it won’t cost the earth and you can still have the whole evening afterwards!