Ava Beaux: The Mysterious Tales of Poe (4 stars)

Ava Beaux: The Mysterious Tales of Poe

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.

Ava Beaux: The Mysterious Tales of Poe

  • 4 stars

Ava Beaux / PBH's Free Fringe Enter the macabre minds of Beaux and Poe. Follow Ava into a web of Gothic tales brought to life through magic, dark humour and thrillingly captivating storytelling. With Beaux's quirky, slick and enchanting magic and mischievously creepy humour, you'll become seamlessly immersed into a…

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