Review: Pete Firman - 'Jiggery Pokery' at the Colchester Arts Centre
Published 17 May 2012
Sarah Slack reviews Pete Firman’s fifth Edinburgh show to see whether magic shows can still astound modern audiences.
After Firman introduced himself his act started off quite simply through making a handkerchief pass through his microphone stand, but the tricks got progressively trickier as the night went on. At times his props were somewhat ordinary, including a whisk and a bucket, but as he read peoples’ minds with no errors in his findings, it was clear that the illusions he can perform are far from simple.
The most impressive act within his set was the finale, where he invited a man on stage called Richard and asked him to mark his own £20 note, which Firman would burn and then make it re-appear. This re-appearance however didn’t happen, and cue a sequence of tricks by Firman making up for the money lost, involving a guillotine trick which Richard fortunately survived. Just when it appeared that the act was finished, Firman revealed that the £20 note was in fact within a locked box, an object on stage which throughout the night had not been given any attention to. Firman not only ensured Richard got his £20 back, but also made the audience wonder whether if they’d watched the box they’d know how the trick was done.
The comedy aspect of the show was not completely abandoned in favour of magic however due to his support act Chris Stokes, whose act won Best Show recently at the Leicester Comedy Festival. Personal highlights of his act include evaluating the phrase “I think you’ll find” as a key indicator of ‘geek logic’, as well as an account of a three hour argument he once had with someone who claimed his grandfather was the Titanic’s captain. Through successfully appealing to the inner nerd within the audience, he’s certainly a comic who has major potential for this year’s Edinburgh festival, and guaranteed that the night’s entertainment was a well-balanced fusion of magic tricks and laughs.
To see more stand-up comedy in Colchester, visit the Colchester Arts Centre website here.