There is no such thing as magic, something a nerd might be keen to point out. As such, instead of magic, what Tom Crosbie offers is nerdism, as good as magic, but more factually accurate.
Together with his genuinely funny stage persona, nerdism is a wonderfully diverting spectacle.
Crosbie presents himself as the stereotypical nerd with a fetching yellow cardigan, awkward physicality, and self-deprecating humour about his lack of success with finding a girlfriend. His early displays of nerdism presented as ways of getting a girl encourage the audience to engage in the show, but he really doesn’t need it. When he comes into his own, demonstrating his ability to remember dates and do amazing things with Rubik’s cubes, he is naturally entertaining without needing to bookend it with social awkwardity.
As he says himself there is a lot of dead time, but this is part of the show’s charm; running at a slower pace than most shows, it allows you to fully appreciate the skills that Crosbie shows us. In fact, you almost wish that the show was longer, to have time for Crosbie to explain how his tricks work – a magician never reveals their secrets but surely a nerd would love the opportunity to explain. Often he does, telling you lots of interesting facts and figures that you didn’t know you needed to know. Otherwise, while he’s busy concentrating doing his stuff, there is well-chosen atmospheric music to keep the action moving. That is one of the most enjoyable aspects of what Crosbie does: he doesn’t make it look effortless, so it’s even more rewarding when you find that it all does, indeed, work.
Crosbie emphasizes multiple times how useless his skills and knowledge is. It isn’t. Together with his genuinely funny stage persona, nerdism is a wonderfully diverting spectacle. Bringing the room together with excellent audience interaction, Crosbie creates a friendly atmosphere, so you’re collectively wondering what will happen next. Crosbie thanks the audience at the end for supporting live entertainment, and Tom Crosbie is definitely worth seeing live, in real time, in the flesh.