Magic Gareth: Level Up!

Aug 14 2023 | By More

★★★☆☆    Goofy

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33): Wed 2 – Sun 20 Aug 2023
Review by Hugh Simpson

Magic Gareth – Level Up!, the family show at the Pleasance from Edinburgh-based Magic Gareth, is a fun and accessible collection of tricks and humour.

The show is advertised as suitable for 5+, which seems about right. The optimum age is probably from 5 to 9, as there are a couple of elements that might easily provoke eye-rolling from older children, such as a mathematical trick that teenagers would be quick to say they had seen through.

Magic Gareth and his big balloon. Pic: Magic Gareth

There is an unapologetic silliness to Magic Gareth’s demeanour that is just right for the younger age group, and his connection with the audience is first rate. There is also enough attention paid to the adults that they will not sulk at being left out.

The tricks and stunts are accessible and clearly explained without talking down. Rapport with the various volunteers is admirable, to the extent that enthusiastic candidates for taking part are never in short supply.

That the goofiness includes a level of chaos, both carefully constructed and apparently real, is always a good sign. Proper magicians know that making things look too easy can lead to tricks being undervalued and dismissed; here, the required level of jeopardy is always in evidence.

boss level

The jeopardy extends to the show’s easy-to-grasp, video game-based narrative, complete with lives and levels. Enough to cause worry that we really might not reach the boss level, defeat the suspiciously familiar-looking Evil Gareth and rescue the fluffy toy unicorn he has kidnapped.

If there is somewhat homespun feel to the show, then that makes it all the more approachable. There may not be as much magic as might be expected, and the show is considerably shorter than the hour advertised on the EdFringe website, which might disappoint some, but the energy on display generally makes up for it.

Some of it – such as pulling a giant balloon over your head – does not really qualify as a trick at all, but it always has a pleasing impact.

Recommended for children who like magic or silly jokes.

Running time 40 minutes (no interval)
Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Above), 60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ (Venue 33)
Wednesday 2 – Sunday 20 August 2023
Daily (not Wed 16) at 10.30 am
Tickets and details Book here

Magic Garrett links

Artist website:
Facebook: @magicgareth
Instagram: @magicgareth


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.