Tom Brace: Brace Yourself (It's Magic Time!), Pleasance Courtyard, Review

Submitted by edg on Mon, 6 Aug '18 4.58pm
Edinburgh Festival review
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Tom Brace

It must be difficult doing magic in the internet age. The answer to so many tricks are just a Google search away. How does that street performer dressed as Yoda from Star Wars, or some other floaty character, levitate in the High Street every day? Look it up on YouTube, and some know-all has probably video-ed it, deconstructed it, and is selling kits online for you to do it at home.

Creativity and showmanship have never been as important as they are now and Tom Brace has that in good measure as he delivers variations on classic magic tricks with youthful charm. He’s also got very good hands when it comes to making things evaporate into, or suddenly appear from, thin air.

The show takes in a broad spectrum of tricks involving impossible Rubik’s cube solutions, a disappearing cell phone, and “Russian Roulette” where he slaps down brown paper bags one of which has an upturned broken bottle in it. At one point an audience member calls a friend “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” style to ask what playing card Brace has picked from a deck. Of course, the bemused friend, on the other side of the country, picks the right card.

Brace has a friendly manner and works in some memorable visual gags. When talking to his Amazon Alexa, he inadvertently sets a pack of cards spinning into the air.

Some of the act could use some finessing, but this was an enjoyable hour. In the intimate space of the Pleasance Green (an “inflatable igloo”, Brace calls it) it’s a bit like watching a good birthday party magician in your living room.

After we returned home my son was excited to recall to his gran how the magician made hankies disappear and re-appear miraculously tied together and caught a paintball in his teeth. Job well done.

Runs til 18th Aug, 2pm. Ages 8+