The I Hate Children Children’s Show is back for another Fringe and this year, they’re meaner than ever. The duo of Paul Nathan and John Anaya torment Edinburgh’s children in a show filled to the brim with magic, music and laughter, not forgetting of course absolute contempt for anyone under the age of fifteen. Outrageously enjoyable for both young and old - including the reviewer who secretly wanted to join in too - this show is one of the hottest tickets for children at this year’s festival.
Don’t let the title fool you, Nathan and Anaya may play the antagonists but they clearly have hearts of gold. They pledge to let every willing child in the audience have their time to shine on stage and come hell or high water, they will fulfil that promise. Not only did the kids get to come onstage, they were made stars of the show and got to perform magic tricks alongside Nathan. The magic is simple and spectacular, endlessly engaging and surprisingly masterful, the children clearly had a magnificent time joining in.
The magic would suffice as an act on its own but Nathan and Anaya go a step further to make this one of the most original and entertaining shows out there. Their rapport with both children and parents was exemplary and never felt contrived. Both are genuinely very funny and managed to wind up the children in the audience whilst maintaining a mutually respective relationship with them, making for a relaxed, enjoyable experience for all.
The exuberant joy on the faces of leaving children was all I needed to cement my opinions of this production. It is informal and highly enjoyable but never unprofessional and the most entertaining thing I have seen in a long time. Even if you don’t hate children, this is a show not to be missed.