I didn’t know what to expect from Pete Firman. I hadn’t seen him on TV. I think each Festival season you should see at least one new show on a recommendation and Firman had been recommended to me. This belief had me queue in the rain in the Pleasance Courtyard for Firman.
Was it worth it?
Without a doubt. Firman is a talent. I’m not surprised he’s on TV. I can only imagine his star will rise even higher.
The act begins with a video clip. Pete Firman in a Rocky homage, one that also features the legend that is Derren Brown, and this was a great way to get my attention. If Derren Brown was willing to be this closely associated with a magician then I was curious.
Pete Firman mixes in comedy with absolutely fantastic close up magic. The show is called Hoodwinker. It’s a clue that the audience is being hoodwinked but with the exception of one act I had no idea how he was doing it.
The act I did see through was one designed to let the audience see what was going on – but the ‘volunteer’ pulled from the audience. It’s a good guide to how sleight of hand and misdirection work.
I’m not a magic expert, not at all, but I have seen through and sussed performances from festival sleight of hand presenters before. Pete Firman scores points because he takes the time to imagine how the audience might think the trick was done – and then disproves it. For example, he uses apparently every day and ordinary items in his show and when you might think one of them have been specially adapted to make the trick work – he’ll rip it open to reveal there’s nothing special about it.
It’s hard to say which of the tricks are the most impressive without the risk of spoilers. If you watch his hands closely, for almost all of the tricks, you’ll be impressed.
The fantastic magic combines well with his banter. He can be pretty funny – which makes him far funnier than most stage magicians and sleight of hand experts. Firman feels like a natural showman.
It’s worth making time to go see Pete Firman.