Magical Bones: Black Magic
- Becki Crossley
- 6 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Somewhat flat fusion of magic, break-dancing and hip hop
Magical Bones aka Richard Essien loves magic, break-dancing and hip hop, so much so that he has fused the three together in his debut Fringe show. The hour is pumped full of personal anecdotes, tricks and audience participation; the likeable performer's personality seeps through.
As a street magician, Essien's performance style is casual, something far from the overzealousness adopted by performers on screen. It's hard to know if this laid-back approach to showmanship is a welcome break from that high-energy style, or precisely what the show is lacking. The mood ebbs and flows as anticipation rises ahead of every trick before falling rather low with each reveal. Tricks using cards, audience members, hip hop songs and a Rubik's cube impress but lack that crucial awe-inducing grip.
Unfortunately for this performer, the venue does a disservice to his act, as the low stage conceals the action for most of the big moments (like solving a Rubik's cube while breakdancing) and people in the back have to rise up in their seats from time to time to see what's going in. The magic goes to plan and the crowd seems happy but overall Black Magic feels somewhat flat.
Underbelly Bristo Square, until 25 Aug (not 12), 6.25pm, £11 (£10).