Pete Firman - Scoundrel
One of the reliable Fringe solids by the humourous magician
This article is from 2013.
Pete Firman’s comedy-magic cocktail is one of those reliable Fringe solids. There’s a reason his face keeps popping up all over the telly as well (Derren Brown’s 3D Magic Spectacular, The Magicians) – he is amiable, good humoured and a joy to watch.
Scoundrel is a nod to his cheeky chappy ways, but his whole routine has obvious, and very slick, roots in other comedy greats – there’s Tommy Cooper of course, but also a ghost of Eric Morecambe in his apparent pride in jokes that err on just the right side of groanworthy.
His quick-witted asides share the perfectly-paced hour with deft and breathtaking illusions, as he switches from working with disappearing/reappearing chairs to stripped back card tricks that are nothing short of masterful. Firman plays the audience well, mixing it up and flipping expertly from energetic and manic routines to a silent, poignant and slightly creepy segment. To top it off, Firman offers possibly the only improvised magic on the Fringe, an elaborate finale which culminates in a payoff worthy of Derren Brown himself.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 9.20pm, £11.50–£15 (£10–£13.50).