Tom Brace: Eat, Sleep, Amaze, Repeat
- Murray Robertson
- 12 August 2021
Family-friendly tricks from mild-mannered Fringe magician
You might expect social distancing to have put the kibosh on close-up magic but conjuror Tom Brace has nevertheless carefully arranged a series of entertaining set-pieces to baffle and perplex audiences of all ages. A video sets the scene: last year was not a productive one and it pushed Brace to develop new skills and hone his repertoire. The real show begins with some low-key trickery involving magic tropes such as a bottle of wine and a torn-up newspaper; it's a gentle warm-up when a more original introduction might have a much greater impact.
Brace gradually charms his crowd using material that's either aimed at kids or adults, although his most risqué gags are still safe enough for family consumption. Reminiscent of a young Stephen Mulhern (back when the TV presenter was a pretty impressive magician), Brace is equally adept whether handling youngsters or an older crowd. When kids are brought on stage to assist, they're made to feel like they're an integral part of the process rather than simply a stooge. As a result, when he calls up the lights to find an unwitting volunteer he's – unusually for a Fringe show – greeted by a surprising number of eager hands held aloft. Although he gently pokes fun at his guests, he's always a kind host.
Unfortunately, tonight a couple of tricks fail to land quite how they should. Fortunately, his highlights proceed without a hitch, including his final trick which bravely requires an audience member to phone a friend. Tom Brace is a charming entertainer with broad appeal for the whole family: his conjuring will delight the kids while his more mature psychological tricks will seriously impress the adults.
Tom Brace: Eat, Sleep, Amaze, Repeat, Underbelly George Square, until Saturday 14 August, 5pm, £12 (£10.50–£11).