Review of Peter’s Friends, Tobacco Factory, 6th October 2013
Peter is a magician and Peter has friends. All Peter’s friends are magicians as well. This gave Peter a great idea. Peter invites his friends to the Tobacco factory to do some magic shows once a month, and we can all watch.
The Tobacco Factory is a fantastic venue. We arrived on a Sunday evening and it was thriving. The lounge bar was full, people were rehearsing in the studios, and a sell out crowd was waiting patiently for the magic performances to start. Very cosmopolitan – I could get use to this!
I took my dad, because he loves magic as much as I do, and he wanted me to say how comfortable the chairs are with (and I quote) fantastic lumbar support. So, if you have a dodgy back, then you can come here in confidence that it will not be your aching back that makes you walk out of the show. My dad is so rock and roll.
Bang on time, Peter walks out onto the stage with a big smile. He explains that it is a cabaret evening of magic and laughter, before embarking on a lovely little card trick. My dad and I have chosen seats close to the front and off to one side. So we have a pretty good view of the action, and we can’t work out how he does the trick. Straight of the block, we are impressed.
First guest act is Andi Gladwin, who preformed at President Obama’s Inauguration ceremony, no less (http://www.illusionist.co.uk). He used to be a computer programme, but now he does magic, he tells us. He is good and he has some mightily cringe worthy and geeky jokes. “I have invented a new game,” he tells us. “You try to drink a cup of coffee while on the back of a jumping donkey. It’s called Starbuckaroo!”
With my knowledge of magic though, I can tell most of his magic uses self working tricks. There is nothing particularly clever in the routine, but it is funny and well delivered. His final act involves him getting inside a big balloon and doing a silly dance. Not magic as such, but funny to watch.
After the interval, we are introduced to Alan Hudson (www.alanhudson.net). We are told that Alan has performed on the TV show ‘Penn and Teller Fool Us’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFnh_pDRCMc), and has performed for the Beckhams. Alan tells us it was much harder to fool Penn and Teller – no surprises there!
Alan is immediately likable. He works the audience well, he has a wit that reminded me of Lee Mack. By the end of his first trick, I have tears of laughter rolling down my face, which makes it even funnier for me when I was chosen to help with the second trick. This involved the two of us wearing pink gift bags over out head (Alan asks the audience “if someone walks in, please tell them this is not the gay branch of the klu klux clan”) and me popping coloured balloons and him guessing which colour it was – which he did correctly. I have no idea how he did it, and I’ve watched him do the trick online since when the balloons are popped in a different order and he still gets it right.
The jokes come thick and fast, the magic was seamless and his rapport with the crowd was brilliant, and very cheeky in places. His delivery was confident, his magic was original and I was impressed!
Peter’s Friends is back on Sunday 3rd November with 2 different magicians. Tickets are priced at £13 (£10 concession). Book by phoning 0117 902 0344 or online at www.tobaccofactorytheatre.com. If you like comedy and magic, then it is a great night out. I’ll be going back for sure. See you there?
– Review by Ade Bowen
Action Pussycat and wanna be magician.