Paul Nathan is a name often associated with the I Hate Children Children’s Show, a firm Festival favourite for years amongst little ones, but he is back this year with a brand new show – and this time it’s aimed at the adults.
Magic Hour is a show for close-up-magic-lovers, those who appreciate the craftsmanship behind expertly executed sleight of hand and those with an interest in learning a bit more about some of the tricks in an intimate setting.
We hear Nathan before we enter the intriguing tented venue, he’s cracking a whip and rounding up last minute audience members, he is also performing some sleight of hand to those nursing pints nearby, luring them in for his next performance. Sleight of hand magic require a serious level of skill and can take years of practice to master perfectly but this is, as he points out to us, often overlooked by the audience. This really sums up Magic Hour: it’s not flashy Britain’s Got Talent, and it never promises to be. Instead it’s intimate, personal, clever and comes with a healthy dose of knowledge about the tricks themselves, Nathan even divulges some of his tricks of the trade.
Each Magic Hour is different (it depends on the audience) and whilst I don’t think it’s something that every festival-goer will enjoy (in the Internet Age, many can simply google how some of these card tricks are done, which can spoil this sort of show!) but for those that appreciate and enjoy the skill and time that goes into practicing this talent, it’s a real treat. Nathan has a host of different routines, tricks and tales that he uses to create a unique experience for the audience – this is certainly a result of his over 30 years experience as a magician in San Fransisco, performing around the world with both his popular Children’s show, Dark Kabaret showcase and his own custom private performances of close-up magic, which can be seen in this show.
Magic Hour is full of tricks that represent the bread and butter of magic shows, including jumping pennies and a lot of card tricks which are all executed with true showmanship. Nathan does pull a few aces from his sleeve, I particularly enjoy the elements of ESP and mind-reading that he brought to the hour. Magic Hour is more than just magic, though, Paul Nathan is a great storyteller and irresistibly interesting to listen to, I could have listened to him tell tales or explain the history of various elements to his tricks for a lot longer than the hour.
This magic show isn’t an hour of blow-your-mind disappearing acts, but it is an hour of entertaining and interesting skilful and quick magic on a smaller-scale. Magic Hour is a show for close-up-magic-lovers, those who appreciate the craftsmanship behind expertly executed sleight of hand and those with an interest in learning a bit more about some of the tricks in an intimate setting.