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Magic Sho

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A melancholy undertone runs through this flashy children’s magic show that revels in its dark humour.

Image of Magic Sho

@ Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, on Mon 19 Oct (and touring)

Children’s theatre wunderkind Shona Reppe has created a melancholy, surreal one woman show with this amusing magic act. Having gained critical acclaim from previous productions such as Potato Needs a Bath, Cinderella, and The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean, Reppe has taken on a new format for her latest opus: the world of magic.

Perhaps the tricks used in the production aren’t the most skilled or modern but that is not the point of this quaint little piece. With a sly style of humour, Reppe coaxes the audience into the world of her alter ego, Magic Sho, and her heavily burdened sidekick, Rabbit (in reality a rundown cuddly toy).

Set almost entirely within Sho’s home she shares with Rabbit, the piece contains a number of amusing set pieces and sequences that had the audience in an uproar. Reppe uses dark humour to the show’s advantage: whilst the tricks will amaze the youngsters, adults can be taken in with some amusing quips and Sho’s relatively selfish egotism. Poor Rabbit is a puppet that has taken some neglect through his years of working with Sho and his occasional monologues add a note of sadness to proceedings. There are plenty of times an “aww” comes from audience members young and old. This just shows Reppe’s talents in bringing a three dimensional characterisation to a rundown object. The relationship between Rabbit and Sho is not only amusing but entirely believable. There’s a real chemistry between Reppe and the toy and when Rabbit finally decides he’s had enough, it provides an interesting turn of events.

A deceptively simple children’s show, Reppe has created a darkly humorous piece that highlights the importance of friendship. Amongst the cheesy tricks and old school razzle dazzle is a really sweet tale of two old timers who depend on each other. It’s like Paul Daniels and Bugs Bunny starring in a production of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser.