The I Hate Children Children's Show

Magician Paul Nathan returns to Edinburgh once more with The I Hate Children Children's Show for an hour of interactive magic, name-calling and the occasional glass of champagne.

Still very recommendable to all families, particularly those with children under 13.

The show has been a staple of the Edinburgh Fringe for many years and it’s clear to see why. Nathan is clearly in his element when interacting with children of all ages. Though the show’s name obviously hints that the children will be teased mercilessly, he has the canny ability to judge the reaction of each individual child and knows when to rein it in. He is in every way a calm, confident and likeable performer.

In many ways, this is a very traditional children’s show: lots of audience participation, a menagerie of magic tricks and much applauding of each individual participant throughout. The routine is very well practiced and certainly works it spell on most of the audience. It is perhaps too traditional in that sense for teenagers; the few over the age of 12 who came onstage were significantly more awkward about it, as if they didn’t want to seem childish. This is perhaps understandable, especially when sharing a stage with five year olds. Nathan, to his credit, doesn’t let it knock him off his stride.

There is a bit too much pitter-patter and audience back-and-forth between tricks. It feels like a long time before we see a trick and, over the hour, the number of actual tricks performed is limited. They are all, however, very clever so this could be considered a case of quality over quantity. Whilst it is the magic and the chance to participate that captivates most of the kids, Nathan’s jokes tend to be for the benefit of the parents (much like the champagne he hands round at the beginning). For the most part, they land well. One oblique reference to Nazi Germany toed the line however, as evidenced by the ripple of nervous laughter from the audience that followed.

Perhaps this is evidence that the team are a bit too comfortable with the show and the time for further innovation and reinvention may be ripe. But The I Hate Children Children's Show is still very recommendable to all families, particularly those with children under 13.

Reviews by James Beagon

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
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The Blurb

Let's be honest... Right now you're looking for a show that'll be safe and fun for your kids but that won't suck for you. Well you've found it. Named ‘Best Children's Show’ by ThreeWeeks. Rated 'number one Children's Show' and 'number one Magic Show' by the List. Slip some whiskey in your sippy cup and enjoy the ebullient frivolity of the The I Hate Children Children's Show. Live music, interactive magic (every kid helps with the magic), and free champagne for moms. ‘No one goes home disappointed’ **** (FringeReview.co.uk). Get your tickets now.

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