This was the fourth time we’ve seen Pete Firman strut his stuff on the Royal stage, but who’s counting? That’s twice as part of the Burlesque Show, and also once in his own right as Trickster a couple of years ago. He’s obviously more streetwise now as the Trickster has become TriX; and he does exactly what it says on the tin, giving us trick after trick after trick, with nary a clue as to how he manages to achieve any of them.
I could just cheat now and refer you to my previous reviews because, essentially, his style hasn’t changed, his approach is the same, his Eric Morecambe-like patter hasn’t budged, his brilliant rapport with the audience is unaltered, and he still calls on members of the audience to help him out with all his tricks. He also still astonishes us with his bowling ball, with his sleight of hand card tricks, and with the mysteriously disappearing and reappearing £20 note; I know we’re being misled by those monkey nuts but I just don’t know how. I loved the tricks where £30 flew from one pocket to another; where a member of the audience was levitated, where five different types of drinks emerge out of the same Sainsbury’s juice carton; and I could go on but I’d be spoiling it for you.
He is a brilliant entertainer; his magic stops you dead in your tracks and completely baffles you. He’s also very funny in a cheeky young whippersnapper sort of a way – I know he’s not that young, but he is in comparison to me. Mrs Chrisparkle and I were discussing in the interval with Mr Smallmind what we thought about Mr Firman’s not inconsiderable use of the F word. Mrs C found it refreshingly adult. Mr S thought perhaps it limited his audience. I sat on the fence. But he certainly does have a very lighthearted view on how a magic show should come across to the audience; no po-faced illusions here.
Not a lot more to say really – two hours and a bit, crammed full of trickery and tittering. No need for support acts or beautiful hostesses when you have the population of Northampton to draw on to accompany you on stage. That was the penultimate night of his tour, so you’ve missed it now, I’m afraid, unless you catch him at the Soho Theatre for the week commencing 22nd November. But I’ve no doubt he’ll be back with another collection of mind-bogglers before too long. And I’ll certainly be booking.