11 June 2010

Magic at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Hi folks

Edinburgh is becoming a bit of a magical city with the upcoming Edinburgh International Magic Festival taking place next month and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe always having a good deal of magic in it.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme was released yesterday and, as always, there's a good chunk of magic in there. Actually, this year sees the most magic that I can remember in many years! I've put them in order as they are found in the brochure and each listing has the title of the show (this may or may not contain the performer's name), venue, the blurb about the show and finally the dates and times and ticket price of the performances. Tickets to all these shows can now be booked over at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website

Now, remember that there are a lot of magic, and magic-related, performances this year so get yourself comfortable. Ready? OK, here goes...

The Amazing Bubble Man
C too, St Columba’s by the Castle, Johnston Terrace

Breathtaking bubbles, people-inside-bubbbles, square bubbles, amazing bubble colours, sculptural bubbles, special effect bubbles. A show for kids of all ages to thrill, laugh, love and learn about the world of Bubble-Ology. Book early.
Aug 5-6,16,23-24: 12:30 (45m) £7.50 (£6.50) (£5.50 C)
Aug 5-6,16,23-24: 13:30 (45m) £7.50 (£6.50) (£5.50 C)
Aug 7-10,14-15,21-22,28-30: 12:30 (45m) £9.50 (£8.50) (£7.50 C)
Aug 7-10,14-15,21-22,28-30: 13:30 (45m) £9.50 (£8.50) (£7.50 C)
Aug 11-13,18-20,25-27: 12:30 (45m) £8.50 (£7.50) (£6.50 C)
Aug 11-13,18-20,25-27: 13:30 (45m) £8.50 (£7.50) (£6.50 C)

The Classics of Magic!
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street

Peter Campbell-Wells bravely attempts the most famous illusions in the history of magic. Magicians worldwide spend years perfecting these classics. Pete didn’t have time to practice but what could possibly go wrong? Free show. www.parlourmagic.co.uk
Aug 19-29: 14:30 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

The I Hate Children Children’s Show
Zoo Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place

Fun-filled romp with Unkle Paul Nathan: magician – comic – curmudgeon. See Paul perform the most dangerous magic trick in the world. Hear! Laughter and applause. Smell the seat cushions.
Aug 6-30: 12:00 (1h) £5.00

Prince of Cringe Gag Reflex Management
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square

A simple story with a sideshow twist. Flying axes, walking on raw eggs and a trick with balloons that will leave you speechless or gagging. ‘The Prince of Cringe’ promises to entertain young and old alike.
Aug 5-7: 12:15 (1h) £5.00
Aug 8-12,17-19,23-26: 12:15 (1h) £7.00 (£6.00)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 12:15 (1h) £8.00 (£7.00)

Ali Cook: Pieces of Strange
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square

Star of Channel 4’s ‘Dirty Tricks’ and Five’s ‘Monkey Magic’. Award-winning TV magician Ali Cook returns to Edinburgh after his sell-out debut. ‘A sharp irreverent magician’ (Daily Star); ‘Immensely funny’ (Daily Telegraph). www.alicook.com
Aug 4-6: 21:45 (1h) £6.00
Aug 7-8,13-15,20-22,27-29: 21:45 (1h) £12.00 (£11.00)
Aug 9-10,12,16-17,19,23-26,30: 21:45 (1h) £11.00 (£9.50)

Barry & Stuart – 98% Séance
Underbelly, Cowgate, 56 Cowgate (entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street)

Experience a mind-blowing séance hosted by ‘genuinely remarkable’ (Sunday Telegraph) Scottish BAFTA nominated magicians as they raise the dead for fun and profit; ‘Pure magic’
(List). www.barryandstuart.com, www.bbc.co.uk/barryandstuart
Aug 5-6: 22:20 (1h) £6.00
Aug 7-8,11-12,18-19,25-26: 22:20 (1h) £10.00 (£9.00)
Aug 9-10,13-15,20-22,27-29: 22:20 (1h) £12.00 (£11.00)
Aug 16-17,23-24: 22:20 (1h) £6.50

Carole Jahme Is Bio-diverse!
Zoo Southside, 117 Nicolson Street

A comedy exploring evolved differences between men and women. A gorilla and a Stone Age man will be summoned up before the dramatic finalé. Carole Jahme is the Guardian’s Evolutionary Agony Aunt, ‘Ask Carole’. www.guardian.co.uk/science/series/ask-carole
Aug 6-7: 19:45 (55m) £6.00
Aug 8-30: 19:45 (55m) £8.00 (£7.00)

Comedy Mentalist Hank Stone
Columcille Centre, 2 Newbattle Terrace

‘You have to see it to believe it!’ Critics have called his show, ‘smart, funny and entertaining’. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Vancouver to Toronto and now here in the UK. He will
amaze you!
Aug 7-8: 18:00 (2h) £3.00 (£2.00)

Devil in the Deck
The Zoo, 140 The Pleasance

Dealing cards and cheating death... This innovative pairing of theatre and magic by actor/magician Paul Nathan and guitarist John Anaya brings you the life of Jack Swindle: lover,
adventurer, con-man. ‘Beautifully executed magic...’ (SF Chronicle).
Aug 6-15: 22:50 (1h) £10.00 (£8.00)

Frisco Fred’s Comedy Hour
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street

From San Francisco to the Great Wall of China to the Fringe! A fun-filled hour with the world’s only nearsighted comic, magician, juggler, escape artist and tightrope walker.
Aug 5-16,18-29: 21:00 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

I Said I Wouldn’t Do This Again!
The Zoo, 140 The Pleasance

Ian Kendall returns in his nineteenth year with one show. Book early for the only chance to see his ‘slick, stylish sleight of hand’ (BroadwayBaby.com). **** from pretty much everyone who matters. www.IanKendall.com
Aug 21: 22:50 (1h) £9.50

The Late Late Show with Paul Zenon & Mikelangelo
Assembly @ George Street, Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street

B*****d sons of ‘La Clique’ present the Fringe’s essential late night comedy show. Join lounge wizard Paul Zenon and Black Sea songbird Mikelangelo on a mattress overstuffed with dreamy
special guests.
XAug 5-6: 00:15 (1h45m) £5.00
Aug 7-8,10-15,17-29: 00:15 (1h45m) £12.50 (£10.00)

Legend of the Card Ninja
Assembly @ Assembly Hall, Mound Place

Comedian, magician, ninja, Jav Jarquin debuts with a show that combines his acclaimed stand-up and his dazzling card ninja act. Hard-hitting comedy and feats with cards you would have never thought possible.
Aug 5-6: 21:15 (1h) £5.00
Aug 7-8,13-15,20-22,27-29: 21:15 (1h) £11.00 (£10.00)
Aug 9-12,17-19,24-26: 21:15 (1h) £10.00 (£9.00)

Lies, Trickery and Deceit: A Magic Show! – Free
Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom, 5-11 Leith Street

This is literally where the magic happens. It’s lies, sure, but good lies. An intimate evening of astonishing, honest to goodness trickery. Embrace the deception, welcome to wonderful.
Aug 15-29: 19:30 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Mages Thru the Ages – Free
Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom, 5-11 Leith Street

Three magicians whisk you on a whistle-stop tour of magic past, present and future. Doves appear, needles are swallowed and time is paused, as we cram 100 years of magic into 60 magical minutes. www.freefestival.co.uk
Aug 23-29: 12:00 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Magicians! Behind the Magic!
Just The Tonic at the Caves, Enter from The Rowantree Bar (under South Bridge), 253 Cowgate

Fabuloso and Dupont present an intimate lunchtime soirée of love and toast and magic.
And magic. A charmingly riotous tale of spangly leggings, French accents and bad hair. Sometimes, magic is a four-letter word.
Aug 5-6: 12:00 (1h) £5.00
Aug 7-8,13-15,20-22,27-29: 12:00 (1h) £8.50
Aug 9-12,17-19,23-26: 12:00 (1h) £7.50

Mandy Muden: Sleight of Tongue
The Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street

Award-winning magician Mandy Muden will be performing an hour of comedy and magic. ‘The
lovely Mandy updates magic with a campy bitchy comedy slant. She’ll win you over in a flash’ (Attitude). ‘Superb’ (Evening Standard).
Aug 9-15,17-22,24-27: 18:05 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Marc Salem’s Mind Games
Assembly @ Princes St Gardens, West Princes St Gardens, Princes St

‘Surefire “you-gotta-see-this- show”’ (Variety). World renowned mentalist takes his audience on a captivating excursion into the possibilities of the human mind through hilarious, astounding and
mystifying mind games. ‘Quick-witted family fun’ (New York Times).
Aug 16-18: 18:15 (1h) £13.00 (£12.00)
Aug 19-22: 18:15 (1h) £14.00 (£13.00)

Mind-Reading for Breakfast
Sweet Grassmarket, Apex City Hotel, 61 Grassmarket

What does a psychic want for breakfast? You! ‘Psychic’ Psychologist, Rob Bailey, demonstrates ESP, predictions, lie-detection or just clever psychology? ‘…very funny… very engaging,’ (Oxford Times). Free coffee/croissants. Prizes for best nightwear; come in your pyjamas. www.psychicpsychologist.co.uk
Aug 5-22: 10:35 (1h10m) £8.00 (£7.00)

Morgan & West: Time Travelling Magicians
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square

Great Scott! Victorian magic duo Morgan & West travel 100 years into the future presenting baffling magic, unparalleled precognitive powers and a totally genuine ability to travel through time. Sell-out show, 2009.
Aug 4-6: 15:45 (1h) £5.00
Aug 7-12,16-19,23-26: 15:45 (1h) £8.50 (£7.50)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 15:45 (1h) £9.50 (£8.50)

Nothing Up My Sleeve!
The Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street

International comedy magician Paul Dabek delves into his box of tricks with a quick wit and theatrical flair that will leave you spellbound! ‘Paul Dabek is quite simply superb!’ (Stage).
Aug 9-10,12-17,19-24,26-27: 21:15 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Paul Zerdin – Sponge Fest Revisited
Assembly @ George Street, Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street

Arguably Britain’s most talented and leading ventriloquist and comedian, as seen on ‘Royal Variety Performance’ and recently on ITV’s ‘Comedy Rocks’. ‘Technically immaculate’ (Guardian); ‘The best ventriloquist Britain has discovered for many years’ (Times).
Aug 5: 20:25 (1h) £10.00
Aug 6-15: 20:25 (1h) £15.00 (£14.00)

Paul Zenon – Lounge Wizard
Fringe at Le Monde, 16 George Street

See TV’s legendary snake-oil salesman up close and personal in his natural habitat – a bar. A happy-hour priced cocktail of cons, conjuring and comedy. ‘Countdown’s wild man of the wand’ (Independent).
Aug 4-5: 21:15 (45m) £5.00
Aug 6-8,10-15,17-30: 21:15 (45m) £5.00

Pete Firman: Jokes and Tricks
Pleasance Dome, Potterow, 1 Bristo Square

Be amazed and amused by Britain’s leading comedy magician, returning with ‘the best tricks in the universe’ (Independent). Sell-out 2007- 2009. ‘Funnier than most comedians... more magical
than Dumbledore on a good day’ (Time Out). www.petefirman.co.uk
Aug 4-6: 19:10 (1h) £6.00
Aug 7-12,17-19,23-26,30: 19:10 (1h) £12.00 (£10.50)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 19:10 (1h) £14.00 (£12.50)

Phil Knoxville/Laughing Horse Free Festival
Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 4 India Buildings, Victoria Street (entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street)

Join Phil Knoxville on a rollercoaster ride of comedy and twisted magic. Proving a mild-mannered comedian can possess superhuman powers. If variety is the spice of life then this will blow your
pants off!
Aug 6-15: 19:45 (45m) (Free Non-ticketed)

Piff the Magic Dragon: Piff-tacular 2 – Get Rich Or Die Trying
Just The Tonic at the Caves, Enter from The Rowantree Bar (under South Bridge), 253 Cowgate

Lock up your princesses! Piff’s back with brand new tricks and a magic performing Chihuahua... This time he means business. ‘Unbelievable’ (BBC1). ‘Standing room only’ – **** (BroadwayBaby.com).
Aug 5-8: 15:15 (1h) £5.00
Aug 9-12,16,18-19,23-26: 15:15 (1h) £6.00 (£5.00)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 15:15 (1h) £7.00 (£6.00)

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 19 Blair Street

Peter Campbell-Wells returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to blow big raspberries at the serious po-faced world of psychic entertainment. Mind reading and clairvoyance is absurd
and Pete’s show revels in the daftness of it all! Free Show. www.petesmental.co.uk
Aug 16-29: 23:30 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Shrink: The Outrageous Hypnotist
HMV Picture House, 31 Lothian Road

Outrageous and definitely not for the easily offended, hypnotist Shrink is back with more late night lunacy. Astounding, mesmerizing mind control. Absolutely f#%*ing hilarious. Come and laugh your arse off. Strong language, adult content – over 18s only.
Aug 13,21,28: 23:55 (2h5m) £13.50

Strassman: Duality
Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance

The world’s dark master of ventriloquy returns! This original world premiere performance reinvents ventriloquism as Strassman battles his alter-ego puppet for sanity. Radical and
compelling, not to be missed! Total sell out in 2005. ‘Brilliant’ (Guardian).
Aug 4-5: 19:00 (1h) £5.00
Aug 6-12,16-19,23-26,30: 19:00 (1h) £13.00 (£12.00)
Aug 13-15,20-22: 19:00 (1h) £14.00 (£13.00)
Aug 27-29: 19:00 (1h) £15.00 (£14.00)

Thought Thief 2.0
Sweet Grassmarket, Apex City Hotel, 61 Grassmarket

Is your mind safe? Learn the true story of Peter Antoniou’s journey into the merky world of ‘psychic’ espionage. See him demonstrate his amazing abilities, and learn how they are already being used against you. **** (ThreeWeeks).
Aug 18-30: 14:55 (1h) £7.00 (£5.00)

Cafe Andaluz, 77b George Street

Magic, flavours and illusion as never experienced before by your senses. Taste the exquisite Spanish cuisine at Café Andaluz and enjoy magic from the hand of the best magician in the world. Enjoy your evening with loved ones... dare to dream.
Aug 6-30 (not 19): Sun-Thu 20:00-22:00 £30.00; Fri-Sat 15:00-17:00 £15.00

Babbling Comedy: The Perfordian Show
C central, Carlton Hotel, North Bridge

No words, but laughs for everybody. Using mime, magic, juggling, beatboxing, this high-energy show will have you looking at ordinary objects in a whole new way! Captivating hit physical
comedy from Korea. www.perfordian.wordpress.com
Aug 5-6,16,23-24: 17:00 (1h) £8.50 (£7.50) (£5.50 C)
Aug 7-10,14-15,21-22, 28-30: 17:00 (1h) £10.50 (£9.50) (£7.50 C)
Aug 11-13,18-20,25-27: 17:00 (1h) £9.50 (£8.50) (£6.50 C)

Reality Vaccine – Free
Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom, 5-11 Leith Street

Volunteers required for a psychological illusion experiment. Mentalist Ian Souch is about to commit surgery on your mind! Aided by his psychiatric nurse Nikki, come and enjoy magic,
suggestion, psychology and fun. Be brave, it will only hurt a little... www.mentalmagicman.co.uk
Aug 5: 18:15 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)
Aug 6-15,17-23: 18:15 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

S1L3NC3: Mind Reader
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street

An underground artist whose canvas is your mind. An encounter you will never forget. Disturbing? Always. Predictable? Never. You will be stunned into ‘S1L3NC3’. Time Out London Critics’ Choice. ‘F**k me, that’s twisted’ (Pete Doherty). www.RealityAbuse.com
Aug 6-7: 22:10 (50m) £6.00
Aug 9-12,16-19: 22:10 (50m) £8.50 (£7.50)
Aug 13-14,20-21: 22:10 (50m) £9.50 (£8.50)

The Seven Wonders of Magic
C aquila, Roman Eagle Lodge, Johnston Terrace

All magic, from appearances to transformations, is composed of only seven elements. This breathtaking and original show is a rare opportunity to witness them all. ‘Charming and hugely impressive’ (FringeGuru.com). ‘A virtuoso’ (List). www.lewisbarlow.com
Aug 15,20-22,27-30: 18:15 (55m) £10.50 (£9.50)
Aug 16-17,23-24: 18:15 (55m) £8.50 (£7.50)
Aug 18-19,25-26: 18:15 (55m) £9.50 (£8.50)

Time Warper – Free
Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 19 Blair Street

Magician-turned-time traveller Oliver Meech takes you on an amazing adventure through time. Like ‘Back to the Future’, but live! History is altered, clocks are stopped, and we holiday in 2060AD. Time waits for one man! www.magicmeech.com
Aug 23-29: 15:45 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Looks like I'll be making a few trips through to Edinburgh over the coming couple of months.  If you manage to make it up, I hope you have a great time.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)

08 June 2010

Helping Friends

Hi folks

Magicians who read this blog will undoubtedly know the names of Aldo and Rachel Colombini.  I have been lucky to know both Aldo and Rachel for a number of years - even before they met and then married a few years ago.  Well, now these friends are in need of help, so I thought I'd pass on the information to try to spread the word.

Basically, Rachel is in need of open heart surgery due to the return of a life-threatening infection that she contracted some 3 years ago.  The cost of the surgery is somewhere in the region of $200,000 (yes, TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars!!!).  Now you might sit there and say "haven't they got health insurance?"  Well yes they do, but it is limited and that, along with loss of earnings due to both Aldo and Rachel being self-employed, puts the surgery out of their financial reach at the moment.

So, how can we help?  Well, there are 3 options - and you can choose any or all of them.
  • First, you can visit magic4miracles.com, a site set up to keep everyone posted about Rachel's progress and for people to donate money to the fund.
  • Second, pay a visit to Aldo and Rachel's online store and treat yourself to a few of their products.  Everything is $10 - tricks, DVDs and books - and they are also offering a "buy one, get one free" offer.  So, choose 4 items and pay for 2.  Choose 20 items and only pay for 10!  You get the idea.
  • Finally, pay a visit to Lybrary.com and buy "Wild At Heart", an e-book that has been compiled by 13-year-old Kyle MacNeill with all the and that contains magic from some of the most creative people in magic, including Peter Duffie, Ben Harris, Gary Jones and many more.  What's even more amazing is that Kyle doesn't even know the Colombinis!  He has created this project purely because of their joint love for magic.
You can also read a frank interview with Rachel about her condition over at the IBM's website.

I don't know if Aldo or Rachel will read this, but I'll write this bit anyway.  Rachel - please take care of yourself and get yourself well soon.  And don't rush it!  Aldo - you take care of that wife of your's and make sure you look after yourself!  I'll see you both sometime soon.

If you can afford to, give them a little help.  You know it's the right thing to do.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)

Crowded House in Glasgow

Hi folks.

I'm Peter and I'm a Crowded House fan.  There, I said it and I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed by it.  Actually, I'm proud to say it - especially after their recent concert in Glasgow.

This was my second time getting to see them live - the first being about 2½ years ago in Hall 4 of the SECC.  This time, it was the Clyde Auditorium (aka "The Armadillo") which is part of the SECC complex.  The support act was Conan Mockasin who, at the time, I thought were a different enough to be interesting and to merit a second listen.  Upon finding some of their music online, to be honest, I'm still to be convinced.

After a wee break to re-set the stage, on came Crowded House.  Opening with "In My Command", their set contained a large number of classic songs as well as a number of songs from their upcoming album "Intriguer" (all of which are excellent) which comes out in the UK on 14 June.  The band themselves were making fun of the fact that they were doing the tour before the album came out.  It was a very relaxed night with Neil Finn holding conversations with members of the audience - something that he couldn't really do the last time they played Glasgow simply because bands can't hear what people are shouting at them too well.  In The Armadillo, however, the band members were able to hear requests being shouted during quiet moments between songs.

Another thing to be mentioned is the wide age range that was present at the concert.  There were children as young as 7 or 8 with their parents all the way up to people in their 50s and everyone - EVERYONE! - was having a great time.

I've always been one to shout out for the odd song or 2 at gigs in the hope that maybe, just maybe, the band will hear my request and play it.  On this night, in this venue, it was quiet enough and I was loud and clear enough to be heard.  At one point, Neil Finn was sat at his piano after playing "Archer's Arrow" from the new album (excellent song!) when things went nice and quiet.  I shouted out for an old Split Enz song called "Message To My Girl" but there was no response.  Someone a few rows behind me shouted for it too - still nothing.  A few moments later, I thought "sod it" and as loud and as clear as I could I yelled "MESSAGE TO MY GIRL".  Finn's reaction was "oh, alright then" and he went straight into it.  Yep, Neil Finn of Crowded House played one of my all-time favourite songs.  I still smile just thinking of that moment.

Normally, concerts have one or 2 moments that live with you for a long time.  This one had many.  Too many for me to write about here.  Suffice to say, I thought then - and still think now - that it was the best concert I have ever been to.  Considering that I've been to one or 3 concerts, that's a pretty lofty statement but I really do feel that it was that good.  Actually, no.  It was better than that!

Set List
In My Command
I Feel Possessed
Saturday Sun
World Where You Live
Four Seasons In One Day
Silent House
When You Come
Either Side Of The World
Sacred Cow - a snippet before Neil decided it was a rather depressing song!
Sister Madly - a quick blast of the chorus
Better Be Home Soon
10 Past Forever - made up on the spot and pretty good too!
Archer's Arrows
Message To My Girl - my shout!
Pour Le Monde
Pineapple Head
Weather With You
Don't Stop Now
Distant Sun
It's Only Natural

Fall At Your Feet
Don't Dream It's Over

Speak soon

The Cardman :-)