Performer Paul Nathan informs his audience before they enter the space that ‘Moms and Dads get Champagne, kids get insults’. He holds true to his word, and each adult is handed a glass of bubbly upon arrival. (It’s most likely actually Cava or something similar, but we’ll forgive them for this). This aptly sets the tone for the rest of the hour. Nathan and musician Marty Hailey hold court in their lively and energetic show, in which the audience is treated to first-rate close-up magic, enjoyable banter, and some cute and very catchy songs.
The tricks are never too simple or boring, the songs have intelligent lyrics, and there is no talking down to the kids
The aim is that each and every child in the audience is given the chance to come up on stage and take part, and all parents are allowed to take photos, which is a thoughtful touch from the company. In fact, they have clearly - and successfully - taken great steps to ensure the entirety of their audience enjoys their show. The tricks are never too simple or boring, the songs have intelligent lyrics, and there is no talking down to the kids - something that typically could leave the parents bored out of their minds. This is an excellent antidote to lazier shows that rely on silly noises and slapstick which parents won’t engage with, and achieves the feel of an interesting show for all ages as well as being a superb kids’ show. Hailey’s music was used to great effect, providing background music as well as set songs, enhancing the fun atmosphere of the proceedings.
There are a couple of off-moments in the chatter between tricks, where jokes didn’t quite land or the energy levels dipped a little. However, the way that both performers interact with the kids onstage, particularly Nathan as the ‘Master of Ceremonies’, is very funny. They keep up the theme of ‘I Hate Children’ by playfully insulting their small participants, but are very adept at treading the line between this and actually upsetting them. Likewise, they make sure to leave their young audience with a good message on the opportunities that reading can offer without it feeling shoe-horned in. The high-energy last trick gets everyone involved and means that both kids and adults leave with smiles on their faces.