Pete Firman offers a blend of magic and comedy. I go for the magic.
Okay, I’ll admit. He made me laugh plenty times through the show. He also had me nervous at plenty of times throughout the show. The guideline age rating is 14. That’s not for swearing – although you’d swear too if an audience member had just shot something through your hand – but also for moments of danger Firman puts himself in.
I’ve seen Pete Firman before at the Fringe. Trickster is well put together; a blend of previous flavours. It makes sense to double-down on what the audience reacts to and this means the show is a mix of “quirky danger” and “comedy sleight of hand”. It may be a strange mix but Firman makes it work.
It’s not the apparently dangerous stunts that are responsible for my main warning about the show; it’s the audience participation. Fringe performers often want it, I dislike being part of it but Pete Firman needs it. In fairness to Firman; he does really need the audience to help complete the tricks. If you worry this may be you then try and avoid the edges of the rows. Given how the magician sometimes gets members of the audience to pick other members of the audience, as to prove he’s not involving the decision making process, no seat is truly safe.
Trickster is hosted in Pleasance Beyond. This is a great venue for magic and for the audience. It is one of the better air conditioned venues, the seats are steeply tiered so you should get a good view and it is well lit. In fact, viewability is so good you’ll be able to watch Firman closely and watching Firman closely means one thing. You’ll be suitably impressed by his magic.
Not all the magic is sleight of hand. There’s some traditional magic and whereas that might feel a little old school at times – I rather like that it was there. Even with Pete Firman giving these tricks a fresh coat of paint I enjoyed seeing him execute some of the classics. That’s another odd but successful blend you’ll find in this show – contemporary and classic.
Trickster is a strong act from Pete Firman. Go see it if you’re a fan, if you like magic, if you want comedy with a twist or even if you’re tempted. If you know full well that magic is not your thing, and there are haters, then don’t consider this. Trickster is designed to appeal to audiences who appreciate a good magic show. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else.