Morgan & West: Clockwork Miracles
  • By Kat Pope
  • |
  • 27th May 2013
  • |
  • ★★★★

Magicians, time travellers, and all-round spiffing chaps, Morgan and West are two fellows of the Victorian era who have somehow landed up in the Komedia Studio for the next few nights where I'm pleased to say they are most welcome.

Whimsical and warming, using words as beautifully as their magic to draw you into their own little 19th century world, Morgan and West are a must-catch show of the Fringe.

Expecting some post-modern steampunk irony, purely from the 'clockwork' in the title, it was a very pleasant surprise to find some very nice boys simply doing very good magic and being very nice to their audience. While this may sound insipid, it was far from it. Morgan and West know their trade: they just don't shove it down your throat.

Involving the audience every step of the way, the pair have as good a line in gentle, witty patter as they do in prestidigitation. There is, admittedly, little new to the magic in their act – it's card tricks, slight of hand, mind-reading – but they give it such an individual spin that the lack of novelty is forgotten. And besides, the show is more than just magic: it's the pair's nicely drawn characterisations that make it so watchable and involving.

West is top-hatted and frock-coated with a wispy moustache and casual cravat, while Morgan is a bewhiskered James Corden in corduroy trews and busting-out-all-over waistcoat. West is the clever, knowing one: Morgan plays the fool. They have a touch of Laurel and Hardy about them in their size disparity and the tinkly silent film piano that plays along with their antics. There's also a Laurel and Hardy dreaminess to some of the routines, as when a pair of blow-up handcuffs are turned into a balloon dog who then dances across the stage in slow motion, from Morgan to West to audience member and back again.

This is very much a family magic show. When they invite a little boy up on stage and he really, really wants to check that there's nothing up West's sleeve, they play it nicely. It could have been a rather awkward moment, but it's touching and sweet instead. When the pair say at the top of the show that although they will use audience members in their act, it's not their intention to embarrass anyone, there are no nervous giggles from people thinking 'oh yeah?' It's taken at face value and the trust mercifully isn't broken. A nice touch which I thought summed the show's ethos up is that Morgan and West stand at the door after the show, doffing their hats to the exiting audience, thanking everyone personally for coming.

Whimsical and warming, using words as beautifully as their magic to draw you into their own little 19th century world, Morgan and West are a must-catch show of the Fringe.

Reviews by Kat Pope

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The Blurb

Wander into the world of Morgan & West! See the multitude of magical marvels strewn hither and thither and discover the curiosities and confoundments concealed within. Be you urchin, industrialist or lady of leisure prepare to cover your ankles - Morgan & West will literally blow your socks off.

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