When he was seven years old, Edward Hilsum attended a party at which a magician was performing. This chance event changed the course of his life and led him to his own career as a stage magician and the world is richer for it. The moment that drew him into learning the art of sleight of hand was being invited onstage to participate in a classic coin trick with a special twist that made him believe in magic. In this show, inspired by that intimate interaction, Hilsum makes us believe too.
Hilsum is a delight on stage.
Hilsum is a delight on stage. He has an awkward confidence and a winning smile that you can see from the back of the room. He chats constantly with only occasional moments where he lets backing music take over the ambience in order to not distract from the magic. He is an accomplished sleight of hand performer and has no trouble finding volunteers to join him on stage to see the tricks close-up.
It’s impossible to describe the routines without somewhat spoiling the show so I’ll keep it simple and say that the audience are genuinely stunned by some of the reveals and disappearances that occur at the hands of this seeming miracle-worker. I see a lot of magic acts and even dabble in a little sleight of hand myself but, even when I’m sure I knew what is going on in a routine, I never manage to spot the trick. That’s the highest praise I can give to an act like this. Unfortunately a couple of bits have to be re-tried but not in any way that breaks the pacing of the show or changes the audience perception of Hilsum as a master of his art. The penultimate trick leaves the onstage volunteer so stunned that she has to apologise for her language before returning to her seat, clearly questioning reality and with a memento and accompanying story that I’m sure she’ll tell for years to come.