Two magicians with star potential take to the stage in a jam-packed hour of comedy, magic, and illusion with an X-rated twist. This double-act is a well-oiled machine, with natural chemistry clearly born from friendship and a love for their art form.
Sam Hume plays the straight man to his dreadlocked funny man partner Justin Williams. Hume, clearly talented as a sleight-of-hand performer, is tasked with keeping the show moving from act to act. This leaves Williams, who has an unmistakably cheeky grin and nonchalant stage presence, free to riff playfully throughout the act. In just one hour, the showmen cram in mentalism, escapism, and parlor tricks with stunning effects and fiery reveals. They are a joy to watch, especially during the stretches of the show that run like clockwork. Their ability to juggle multiple tricks seamlessly while working with upwards of three audience volunteers is their most entertaining asset.
Once the duo has worked the audience into a riveted fervor a sentimental middle act torpedoes the show’s momentum. There is a heartwarming backstory to their journey, but it seems out of place on a late Friday night Fringe show that advertises itself as ‘adults-only’. What’s more, the ‘adults-only’ content amounts to a few crass jokes, references to adult cartoons, and a tormentingly predictable dick-pic reveal. Their backstory sets up a coin trick that depends on a camera to convey the close-up action to the audience. Poor lighting and grainy projection unfortunately deaden the effect of what is surely otherwise an enigmatic artifice.
This is a magic show above all else, and it is on its strengths as a magic show that it should be judged. My partner and I were still talking about how the illusions and mentalism worked the following day, as well as the more organic comedy that arose from Hume’s and Williams’s spirited interaction with the audience. They are natural performers and are worth seeing on the strength of their magic alone.