Edinburgh Fringe 2015
You Tube sensation Neil Henry is back after his sell out run last year with a brand new show full of mind-melting magic and brain-bending impossibilities. This is not ‘pulling a rabbit from a hat’ but more ‘pulling a rabbit from himself’. ‘Neil is a mix of Rowan Atkinson and my iron monger’ (Stephen Fry). ‘Neil Henry is a Star’ (New York Times). ‘Neil not only read my mind, he got me to read HIS’ (Jeremy Paxman).
Neil Henry is a natural performer and has created a show that comes across as confident, fresh and fairly improvised. He is a natural at engaging with his audience, able to reach out and connect with the crowd with warmth and humour and this is a marvellous thing to watch.
Henry is already well known on Youtube – particularly in the last three days after proposing to his girlfriend on stage through his alphabetti magic trick. It warmed the hearts of everyone there- even the reviewers!
He quickly builds rapport and generates a fairly constant flow of giggles and gasps. My 11 year old, usually reticent about getting on stage was happy to be picked on straight away for a magic trick which impressed even his beady eye. He started the show with a pretty impressive magic trick with a very funny build up and it had us all scratching our heads and waking us up trying to watch his every move.
Henry has an infectious charm, combining magic illusion, audience participation and semi improvised humour with ease and likeable confidence. He is brilliant with an audience. His magic tricks, though not always astonishing were impressive enough and together with his unique ‘mindsquirming’ and general tantalizing sense of mischievousness had us eagerly in suspense throughout.
My 11 year old, a fan of magic and illusion figured out a couple of tricks but others totally mystified him and had him trying to work it out at home later. We also watched a couple of youtube videos from his site afterwards that had us flummoxed. In general the audience seemed often discombobulated with the magic tricks and there was a lot of laughter and cheering throughout. I was impressed by Henry’s magical skills but it’s his cheeky warm humour and skillful audience engagement through weird mindsquirm, which take centre stage here.