Ben Hart: The Nutshell
  • By Ben Dali
  • |
  • 13th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Fresh off becoming a household name through finishing third in this year's Britain's Got Talent, Ben Hart capitalises on his momentum by returning to the festival where he first built his reputation. In The Nutshell, Hart justifies his worthiness of being officially recognised as one of the most talented performers Britain has to offer.

Ben Hart may well have the best magic show on the Fringe.

He articulates a well written and rehearsed script, delivering original jokes you won't hear in every other magic show you attend. With an affectionate, self-mocking style, he endearingly shrugs off the cheesier of puns. Hart keeps the audience on side with an overly excited response to a girl's first ever use of a nutcracker, and successfully pulls off funny remarks to each audience-wide reaction.

Inviting his audience into his world, Ben talks personably about his past and his passions, in a way that is genuine and enthralling. It's a genuine pleasure to watch the magician juggle master storytelling with seemingly impossible magic effects. He delivers a whirlwind of tricks that are built up to perfection, never feeling dragged out. The camera follows him on stage for the more close-up effects, streaming his image to the back. This allows Hart to execute both full-stage illusions, as well as more intimate pieces. At one point, the camera adds some impressive special effects to enhance his narration.

Hart inspires a range of emotions in his audience, from suspense during the fascinating anecdotes providing background to some pieces, to horror, as he appears to scar his body in the name of entertainment. There are times when it's clear we're being fooled, as impossible coincidences are executed time and time again – proving that what was presented as random could not have been. But, hey, that's magic for you!

The finale to the show is a real thrill, tying everything together perfectly and ensuring the audience have something to discuss on the way out of the show. It's hard to fault The Nutshell if you enjoy live magic and want to see tricks performed by the magician who created them, with the personal touch that only their creator can offer. Hart probably isn't the absolute best magician on the Fringe, but he may well have the best magic show out there.

Visit Show Website

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

West End star and multi award-winning magician Ben Hart makes a triumphant return to Edinburgh (due to phenomenal demand) with a show that shines a light on magic, life, the universe and the darkest corners of your imaginations. Total Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show 2014/2017/2018. Best Magic Show at Adelaide Fringe weekly awards. 'Devilishly clever' **** (Scotsman). 'Mind-blowing... supreme master of the vanishing act. He really is a must see. Don't miss him' ***** (Advertiser, Adelaide). 'Makes sceptics become believers' ***** ( 'Ben Hart will have you believing in magic' ***** ( 'Utterly enchanting' **** (Daily Mail).

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