Carl Einar-Hackner: Handluggage
Swede stand-up magic ‘just like that’
This article is from 2012.
Like some sort of bumbling, long-haired, clown-cross between Tommy Cooper and Justin Hawkins from The Darkness, Carl-Einar Häckner wants to wow you with magic. Poured into his white, bejewelled jumpsuit, he’s not quite nailed the tricks yet; so he’d have you believe, anyway, as he grimaces and minces apologetically through a stunt let-down by wonky IKEA props.
The Swedish stand-up – who was once part of the cabaret troupe La Clique – also uses his pidgin English to good effect, and a skit about learning magic from a kid’s cassette, where he tragically mixes up ‘bandana’ and ‘banana’, is a genuine highlight. Levitation, old-school card tricks, and a mildly twisted love song about a girlfriend facially scarred during a circus elephant accident also make up his daft, but enjoyable set.
Häckner’s onstage schtick – veering between nervous pre-school child and rock-loving oddball – ends up being a charming one, albeit a bit baffling to work out at first. Handluggage is chaotic, absurd, heavily-accented slapstick-magic fun. It’s the kind of thing that you never realised you’d be into, until now.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 27 Aug, 7.30pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).