James Galea: I Hate Rabbits
High on production values, low on magic
This article is from 2011.
Before the titular magician arrives on stage, there are a few mockumentary video clips of traditional rabbit-loving magicians explaining how much they hate James Galea for insulting their profession. This is followed by a showreel of his greatest television hits, demonstrating how much Ellen DeGeneres and other chat show hosts love him. When he finally appears and starts the show, a blast of chart-friendly pop anthem (Mika, Kaiser Chiefs, etc) accompanies the successful conclusion of every trick. All of which lets us know that James Galea is very good at managing production values. It’s a shame this talent does not extend to the content of his show.
It’s not that the sleights of hand aren’t impressive – indeed, Galea’s use of false explanations as further misdirection is inspired – but the pick-a-card and ball-and-cup variety of trick he favours is not far removed from what you might see from a Royal Mile street magician, and that’s without having to shell out over a tenner. Add to this Galea’s overbearingly wide-eyed and chirpy stage persona, and it feels as if the magic is elsewhere.
The Playhouse at Hawke & Hunter Green Room, 0844 871 3014, until 29 Aug, 7.30pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50).