This is one of those shows where to review too closely is to spoil the experience for future audiences, so I’ll stick to the abstract. The jokes come thick, fast and often, and are delivered with the experienced knowledge that a groan is as good as a laugh.
Like a Morecambe and Wise of magic
Abel (the beardy one), is slightly more anarchic than his somewhat buttoned-down brother, Kane (the not beardy one) but, like all great double acts, neither of them is really sure who’s the straight guy. Both shine individually as magicians and as comedians, and there’s plenty to keep the audience entertained even when the magic is purposefully going wrong. Like a Morecambe and Wise of magic, if these guys had been around thirty years ago, they’d have their own Saturday night television show.
It’s refreshing in this age of slick, polished magic shows to see some old-school performance that would sit perfectly on a music hall mixed bill. Kane and Abel’s association with magic goes back to their grandfather, a stage magician who appears briefly via voice over narration, bemoaning what his descendants are doing with the family business. It shows in their back-and-forth and the use of some classic magic routines that they are steeped in the traditions of their art and, even when they subvert it, it’s done with love.
For a show titled Breaking the Magician’s Code, there’s very little of the Penn and Teller-esque drawing back the curtain that you might expect but this show in no way suffers from a lack of insight and inventiveness. Kane and Abel play the bad boys of magic and there’s no illusion that they feel anything but love for what they do.