It certainly is a paradox: is the ball of tissue paper in the magician’s pocket, or is it under the cup? Or is it in both places? Neither? With nods to quantum theories developed well after these ostensibly Victorian Era gentlemen were born, Morgan & West deliver traditional sleight-of-hand and manipulative illusions with world-weary grace and ‘fine facial furniture’. But it was the injection of these philosophical questions into their routine – what is ‘true?’, what is a ‘trick?’ – that kept me most engaged during what is, for the most part a light, entertaining, family-friendly afternoon show.
As the two perform magic tricks (not sophisticated or astonishing enough to earn them fame as ‘magicians’) combined with their comic banter (not quite funny enough to earn them the name ‘comedians’), they are charming, confident, and clip along at an easy pace. One feels taken on a ride. The audience enjoyed themselves, whispering after each trick about how it must have been achieved. There were plenty of children as well who stayed engaged throughout. However, although enjoyable, the magic was overall clumsy and underwhelming, whilst the overuse of the thin pompous man belittling the fat bumbling sidekick trope was disappointing. The two also have a incredibly laid back attitude towards their performance, which sometimes comes across as bored. However, this impression could be a result of where you are positioned in the auditorium.
Certainly funny, with a few simple, lovely illusions, Morgan & West: Clockwork Miracles is a good time; however,There is nothing new about their act, either in their script or their magic, but if you’re not interested in revolution, it seems like a safe bet.