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The Trick that Fooled – Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Drill Hall

Reviewer: Tom Ralphs

Writer: Kevin Quantum

Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, JK Rowling, Steve Jobs and Marie Curie. On the face of it, these five people make unlikely bedfellows, but there is one thing that unites them. They were all fooled by magicians. The tricks that fooled them are recreated in one of two shows Kevin Quantum has at this year’s Fringe.

After an initial trick of his own, Quantum talks about his fascination with the history of illusion and all the purposes it has served, before focusing in on how some of the most intelligent or influential figures of the last hundred years have been tricked. The key thing seems to be to put the person you are tricking at ease, playing to their own intellectual strength before deceiving them.

Quantum talks about when the tricks were played and recreates them with members of the audience. There are coin tricks that fooled Einstein, a card trick that fooled Churchill and what seems to be a mathematical equation played out with folded and ripped up flyers, that fooled Steve Jobs. There’s also a levitating ten pound note and spirits haunting rooms, even if they seem a little reluctant to appear and work their magic at the end of the show.

The one thing there isn’t, is an explanation of how the tricks work. The answers remain frustratingly out of reach, leaving the audience with a series of old style tricks that would not hold anywhere near as much interest were it not for the people that go with them.

There are no grand illusions and no real wow moments. It’s an entertaining hour of old school magic, stripped back to the basics, but maybe more for the historians than for fans of present day illusionists.

Reviewed on 11 August, running from 6 to 22 August (not Mondays) | Image: Contributed

The Reviews Hub Score

Classic magic tricks revived

The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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