Magical Bones: Black Magic
Bad Robot Productions
Underbelly, Bristo Square
The star of international stage hit Impossible makes his much-anticipated Edinburgh Fringe debut. With mixed results.
Richard Essien—one-time street performer—combines magic and hip hop in this laid-back, no frills magic act, with a winning personality and tricks that wow the audience with their dexterity, but would probably do better on a more visible stage.
There is no doubt that Essien is a brilliant sleight-of-hand magician. Using members of the audience to do card tricks and solving a Rubik's cube while breakdancing are certainly impressive. The trick where the whole audience are all handed an envelope of four cards which we tear in half and then shuffled in various ways yet ended up with two pieces that matched was amazing.
But much of his magic is small-scale stuff that either needs to be projected onto a screen (only one trick was) or shown in-the-round on a raised stage.
Hence his finale was also somewhat lost by being only partially visible—which was a pity.
Let’s hope he chooses his venue more wisely next time
Reviewer: Suzanne Hawkes