Reviewer: Helen Jones
Rhys Morgan and Robert West are a pair of time-travelling Victorian Gentleman magicians – or so they would like us to believe. Both born in 1865, and educated at Oxford they have come into the possession of a time machine and tratravevelled to the twenty first century to show off their fascination with illusion. Dressed in frock coats, waistcoats, high-waisted trousers and bow ties, along with a fine pair of mutton chops on Mr Morgan, they are ‘perfectly spiffing’ performers.
Morgan and West are both masters of prestidigitation but they combine this with a natural banter and comedy routine to make a completely rounded and entertaining show. For Kids is the perfect title here as the magic show is definitely aimed at the younger members of the audience and requires the regular participation of several attendees.
Rhys Morgan is a large, effusive, affable buffoon of a character, often putting himself on the same level with the entranced children around him. While Robert West is portrayed at a much sharper more cynical character who isn’t keen on children and cannot be bothered with the social niceties, such as learning his volunteer’s names. However it is impossible to dislike him despite this persona and the children revel in his treatment of them.
The magic tricks Mr Morgan and Mr West (to give them their Victorian form of address) perform are classics, but each is given a twist. From enlarging the three shell trick to producing balloon animals without using their hands, all are aimed at giving the most enjoyment to the children there while still appealing to the adults, who can only marvel at the sleight of hand involved.
The tricks are simple enough for the youngest audience member to understand what is supposed to happen, but the conscious attempts to upstage each other or to sabotage their partner in their performance is what clearly delights the preteens there. This interaction forms the larger part of the show, meaning the number of magic tricks actually performed is limited, but that does not seem to affect the audience’s pleasure.
This is the first time that Morgan and West have produced a show specifically for the younger set, but allowing it to give the emphasis to their characters rather then the feats of conjuring, means that the action never stops and the hour long show flies by, even for the age groups not known for sitting still.
For Kids might be accurate, but don’t write it off for adults either, this is a show that can be enjoyed by the young at heart of any age.
Reviewed on 26th October 2015 | Photo: Steve Ulathorne