Review – Morgan & West: Crime Solving Magicians, Gilded Ballroom Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe

Thursday 18 August 2011

You wait for years for a Whinger to be plucked from an audience to assist a magician in a trick and then, when the occasion comes along, well, you know the rest.

With so much to choose from it’s very handy for the busy festival goer when a show sets out its stall clearly in the title. Morgan & West: Crime Solving Magicians are time-travellers with a Sherlock Holmes twist investigating a somewhat contrived murder storyline. It’s just a couple of posts to hand a washing line of tricks between really, but it’s different, we suppose.

The tricks are likeable enough, although one did go slightly awry when they somehow “predict” what an audience member will write on a blackboard. When invited to chalk up the name of a supermarket she wrote “Lidl” whereas Morgan (or was it West?) had already written “Waitrose” on his, but at least (for the woman in question) it wasn’t the other way around. Still, the two other “predictions” were extremely discombobulating.

But in some situations all the faffing around with the story line has the unintended consequence of giving the audience enough time and insufficient distractions to do some solving of their own. But it’s amiable enough.

Phil, who it seems can’t be kept off a stage in Edinburgh, was invited on stage with three others to provide an alibi for himself. These had previously been written on cards by the magicians and his happened to be “at the theatre”. Spooky when you think that one of the other alibis was “in the shower”. If Phil spent as long in the shower as he does in the theatre Andrew would be adding the wrinkled result to his breakfast muesli to “help himself along” in the mornings.

The linking patter is a bit rough round the edges at times and needs some polishing if you compare it to other magic acts we’ve seen. Still, top marks to them for handing out flyers on the street for their own show in period character, ensuring a full house in their small overheated venue. The Whingers even spotted them in a bar well into the evening (their hour long show is at 3.30pm) still in full costume. They deserve to go far.


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