Pete Firman: Marvels

Pete Firman enters the stage in his trademark three-piece suit, warming the audience up with a cascade of comedy nuggets which sets the scene for what is to come. Firman is undoubtedly funny, and his heady combination of slapstick comedy and well-presented magic makes for an enjoyable hour which concludes with an astonished audience.

Firman is instinctively and effortlessly funny

Firman’s audience interaction is key to the success of the show, and we soon fall into the rhythm of how he operates – he will try a trick; it doesn’t quite work; he feigns despair and then pulls off an even better solution. Key examples being the wedding ring; the egg; and the guess-the-word trick. Firman does betray, at a few pivotal moments, a slight frustration with the audience members helping him with his tricks – for example a female with an accent, and the amount of time it takes him to identify someone with an iPhone he can utilise for his next trick. Firman's effervescent personality means he gets away with this frustration – but for me, it lingered and left me hoping I wasn't going to be next to be targeted!

A criticism of the show is that although Firman self titles as a ‘contemporary magician’, there’s nothing contemporary about the tricks in the show. Fascinating, yes – but certainly not anything groundbreaking that hasn’t been seen at many magic shows before this one - rubix cubes, card tricks and hankerchiefs. Even the big finale at the end is a trick which has previously been used by many other magicians. However one can see past this lack of originality because what is original is the punchy way in which Firman delivers them. He is instinctively and effortlessly funny, and working this comedy element in more would strengthen the show.

Firman’s sleight of hand is flawless, and for this I loved the show. The smatterings of vitriol also kept me heartily amused, for example quips about competitive rubix cube solvers being ‘saddos and losers with no social skills’. This is a quick, high energy hour that will give you just a taste of what Firman is capable of.

Reviews by Jodie McVicar

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

'The UK's leading comedy magician' (Time Out) returns to the Fringe with an astonishing new show. As seen on ITV1's Tonight at the London Palladium, The Next Great Magician, BBC One's The John Bishop Show and The Sarah Millican Television Programme. Expect Pete's trademark blend of laugh-out-loud comedy and jaw-dropping magic. 'The man from Middlesbrough sets the pace for comedy-meets-magic in the 21st century' (Times). 'The new poster-boy for British comedy magic' (Telegraph). 'Seamless blending of quality magic and stand-up comedy. It is a joy to watch' (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine). 'Breathtaking illusions' (List).

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