The Two Magicians with Kane & Abel
  • By Ben Dali
  • |
  • 13th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★

Edinburgh Fringe's premier magical twins, Kane and Abel, return for their sixth run here in their regular home as the flagship magicians of PBH's Free Fringe venue the Liquid Rooms nightclub.

They build themselves up to be rock-stars, and to many, they will be.

They open with flirtatious charm and all the chemistry you would expect from two people who have grown together as magicians and humans. It is clear from the outset that these two are true showmen, with carefully designed caricatures which blur the lines between slapstick and old-school Vaudeville. As a rule of thumb, Ed (Kane) is the straight man and Laurence (Abel) is the fall-guy who appears on stage in a range of farcical guises, and they bounce off each other as well as any double act you've ever seen on TV.

They open the show effectively, building themselves up to be rock stars, and by the end of the show, to many, they will be. While the patter is strong, the twins are not the most natural of actors. They play a range of characters, including Ed's Ronnie Corbett, and though he doesn't quite embody the mannerisms, it doesn't matter as the performance is fun. It’s also a nice touch to reward those old enough, or so inclined, to be familiar with Corbett.

That being said, one suspects that the majority of the audience may feel a bit disconnected from this section, despite it standing alone without awareness of The Two Ronnies. At one point, they ask the audience if we are familiar with the comedy duo whose influence echoes throughout the show. This is one of the cues for audience response that is met with silence.

The magical elements are designed and performed well, with all the wonderment one would hope for from two seasoned pros. The tricks are well varied and pay-offs are high with a number of fun twists too. It feels like they’ve put a bigger emphasis on getting laughs than gasps this year but there are plenty of both. This is most evident in the finale which is not the mindblowing high point one would hope from a magic show as an over-used magic trick is presented in a comedy scenario.

If you’re after a funny magic show that is enjoyable for children to octogenarians and has little on-stage involvement from audience members, this should definitely be on your shortlist. These endlessly watchable performers deliver some clever puns, self-aware groaners delivered with vim and vigour, and what could be the funniest use of a carrot in Edinburgh Fringe’s 72-year history. You would be forgiven for thinking the number of jokes reinforcing their hope for you to pay £10 on the way out is overly plentiful, but in all fairness, the show is worth it.

Reviews by Ben Dali

Underbelly, Cowgate

SK Shlomo: Surrender

★★★★
Assembly Rooms

Melinda Hughes: Off the Scale

★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

Comedy Hypnotist and Mentalist Mark Knight

Just the Tonic at Marlin's Wynd

Les Quizérables

★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Globe Bar

Dave Bibby: Crazy Cat Lad-y

★★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Voodoo Rooms

The Creative Martyrs: Kabarett DysUtopia

★★★★

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.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Proving two truly is better than one, Fringe favourites Kane & Abel bring their brand-new show paying homage to double acts. The 'comedic, contemporary and charismatic' (***** (Channel 44)) conjurors perform magic, comedy and sketches while tipping the hat to the golden age of TV. 'If these guys had been around thirty years’ ago, they’d have their own Saturday night television show... like a Morecambe and Wise of magic, both shine individually as comedians and as magicians' **** (BroadwayBaby.co.uk). 'Seriously impressive' (BBC Radio Bristol).

Most Popular See More

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets