Chris Dugdale is a master of the art of sleight of hand and, even when encouraging the audience to closely watch his every move he manages to repeatedly stun them with his apparent ability to teleport cards and other items from one place to another. It might be the stifling heat in the packed-out room but the audience are somewhat subdued and Dugdale often has to push them for bigger reactions to what are, admittedly, seeming acts of true magic.
Dugdale has created a fantastic display of classic card magic and seemingly superhuman abilities to manipulate objects and mind-read.
Over the next hour, Dugdale shows us why he’s one of the top magicians working the circuit; he’s a self-assured and charming performer and has a playful, jack-the-lad persona that has clearly been honed over his years of performing stage magic and close-up magic at high end events and celebrity parties. The tricks are well-paced and have a great sense of escalation leading to some brilliant reveals.
One section sees Dugdale bring a young child onstage and he’s just as much a consummate showman when working with this young girl; ensuring that she’s the star of the trick and that she gets perhaps the loudest round of applause in the show.
Unfortunately, some of the later feats are very similar to routines that can be seen being performed by other magicians and mid-readers on the Fringe. Dugdale has more than enough experience to justify the argument that he may very well have been one of the first doing these bits but it’s disappointing that his finale is something I’ve seen done by more than one magician on the Fringe.
Dugdale has created a fantastic display of classic card magic and seemingly superhuman abilities to manipulate objects and mind-read; you should get along and get a seat near the stage as this is a magic show you need to see up close.