Magic Sho, Traverse, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Magic Sho
Show details
Catherine Wheels Theatre Company
Shona Reppe (creator and designer), Gill Robertson and Ian Cameron (directors), Kate Bonney (lighting design), Danny Krass (sound design)
Shona Reppe
Running time

Award winning artist Shona Reppe is no stranger to creating magical shows for children but with her latest work she takes things to another level. The show’s title Magic Sho is a bit of a giveaway. To prepare for it Reppe has learned some real magic tricks, even attending that Blackpool Magic Convention with Edinburgh's Magicfest magician Kevin McMahon where they were surrounded by an array of paraphernalia that goes with the craft of illusion. Reppe has beautifully distilled the slightly tacky glamour, all thin red satin, shimmery silver, wands and strange containers, of that esoteric world for this clever and thoroughly entertaining show whose atmosphere is brilliantly augmented by Danny Krass’s sounds and Kate Bonney’s lighting.

From the big show biz opening when Reppe struts her bespangled and top hatted stuff to the sounds of It’s a Kinda Magic, she has the audience immediately on board and into the show’s spirit of fun and illusion with her impish charm and warm comic engagement.

Across the piece she performs some impressive close magic tricks (Traverse 2 is quite small!) as her magician’s life’s story, from her present of a magic wand from Santa in 1979 to her world tours, is narrated through a recording of her voice. Her ‘lovely assistant’ and life-long companion, an orange eyed white toy rabbit, has a male North of England voice that’s signalled by music box sounds of You are My Sunshine when he bemoans his lot. His version of their world is not quite the same as his Barry Manilow-loving magician chum so he decides he’s had enough of risking life, limb and fluffy tail and disappears.

Reppe’s character speaks directly to the audience too in her easy, natural style and takes the show to another level making it a poignant tale of love, loss and the folly of taking a loved one for granted. She pulls at the heartstrings as she shifts from being glamorously suited and booted (following her mother’s advice that you can’t go wrong with a good haircut and a decent pair of shoes) to being dressed in sad pyjamas and a rabbit eared dressing gown while making balloon rabbits.

The tongue-in-cheek encouragement to applaud and join in with the pre-recorded cheers are unneeded for this terrifically enjoyable 50 minutes that amounts to more than a kinda magic – it’s the real McCoy!

19 – 21 November age recommend 5-8 years
Cumnock Town Hall Sunday 29th November, 1pm & 3:30pm