The Graveyard Shift
Quids in Theatre
theSpace on the Mile
Magic shows aren't quite as prevalent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe these days, partly because of the high spectacle, technologically dramatic manner in which many acts must now occur to draw in crowds. Luckily, a good magician can prove that little more than a pack of cards, a few props and a dose of talent is all that is really required.
Part of the joy of The Graveyard Shift is that it is clearly cut from the fabric of a Victorian era magic show. Kreestan Sennachie employs the style and tricks of the era, with an easy charm and a cunning level of prestidigitation, stagecraft and charisma. This is first and foremost a magic show, with copious levels of audience interaction from across the theatre. Those sitting near the back will not be spared!
In addition to being a very capable magician, Sennachie also handles the audience well, which is always a concern with a festival crowd; he turns a giggle into a laugh, and an audience-member's near catastrophic mistake mid-trick became itself a moment of hilarity which he ploughed through in good humour and completed the illusion without breaking stride.
This is being billed as a horror show, and that in part is true, albeit as a lesser part of the experience as Sennachie slowly spins out the ever creepier story of a Victorian-era magician, Kepler. It's an interesting aside, but doesn't quite feel as delicately woven throughout the experience as it might be, particularly as the crescendo of the piece. That said, it's certainly a good way to round out an evening, sending the audience home with a chill up the spine and wondering flabberghasted at how on earth the feats have been accomplished.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan