Carl Einar-Hackner: Handluggage (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

Carl Einar-Hackner: Handluggage

Swede stand-up magic ‘just like that’

Like some sort of bumbling, long-haired, clown-cross between Tommy Cooper and Justin Hawkins from The Darkness, Carl-Einar Häckner wants to wow you with magic. Poured into his white, bejewelled jumpsuit, he’s not quite nailed the tricks yet; so he’d have you believe, anyway, as he grimaces and minces apologetically through a stunt let-down by wonky IKEA props.

The Swedish stand-up – who was once part of the cabaret troupe La Clique – also uses his pidgin English to good effect, and a skit about learning magic from a kid’s cassette, where he tragically mixes up ‘bandana’ and ‘banana’, is a genuine highlight. Levitation, old-school card tricks, and a mildly twisted love song about a girlfriend facially scarred during a circus elephant accident also make up his daft, but enjoyable set.

Häckner’s onstage schtick – veering between nervous pre-school child and rock-loving oddball – ends up being a charming one, albeit a bit baffling to work out at first. Handluggage is chaotic, absurd, heavily-accented slapstick-magic fun. It’s the kind of thing that you never realised you’d be into, until now.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 27 Aug, 7.30pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).

Carl-Einar Häckner from Sweden, short cuts, TheBandana, at The Famous Spiegeltent, La Qlique

Carl-Einar Hackner: Handluggage

  • 3 stars

The man who can fill a tight white jumpsuit like no other, Carl-Einar Hackner brings his new show to Edinburgh, jam-packed with more silliness than ever before. Guaranteed to tickle you with more than just his Ikea props, marvel at this Swedish sorcerer as he performs underwhelming feats of magic, sings completely…