Ava Beaux: The Mysterious Tales of Poe
- Eddie Harrison
- 20 August 2019
A magic show based around the writings of Edgar Allan Poe
Ava Beaux is magic, or at least, she has a magic show. She arrives on stage without too much of a flourish, self-deprecatingly, feigning a faux nervousness that hides a skilled presentation. She mentions writing the show while studying for her finals, and describes buying one of her props (a plastic rhino disguised as a rat) at Bristol Zoo gift shop; the homemade quality is part of the appeal.
Beaux's show is based around Edgar Allan Poe and his writings, a theme which she explores in various ways; Poe's fake article about crossing the Atlantic by balloon prompts a simple trick about cutting a balloon string and then magically producing the same string whole; the tricks are all fairly basic, but well performed in a way that still had the audience gasping. The climax of her show is a rendition of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, in which she asks the audience to close their eyes as she recites Poe's tale. It could be argued that close-up magic demands audience vigilance, but her strategy works well in that it creates a different kind of engagement. Rather than watch the trick, viewers are transported into a realm of imagination, and the show gets an extra dimension.
Beaux also passes a needle through her arm in a tick that's somewhat gruesome to look at, and plays a familiar card-trick out in style. Perhaps the most professional Vegas showmen will feel they have little to fear from Ava Beaux's simple home-spun styling, but as a free fringe show in an intimate venue, it's hard to argue. With slick patter, a cleverly-worked persona and an original slant on practical magic, Ava Beaux is a returning figure to the fringe that audiences are likely to want to see more of.
Revolution, until 23 Aug (not 22), 8.30pm, free.