Magic in a Jiffy gets off to a slightly hesitant and self-conscious start. It’s obvious that the performer has been suffering from first night nerves as the show opens with a string of terrible jokes in the mode of Paul Daniels, and the normally amazing Elliot Bibby struggles momentarily to find his feet.
But we know that all is going to be well. The producers have – very wisely – put an 18-plus age restriction on the show, and tonight’s extravaganza is spared the myriad of small muggles who normally populate magic shows and insist on being taken to the toilet at crucial moments, and, aside from a preponderance of hair gel and hipster beards, we have a supportive crowd who are vocally appreciative and cheer the wizard on, challenging him to show us just why he’s Scottish Magician of the Year.
Thus emboldened, the performance dives into some simple math and logic tricks as Bibby mops his brow and shakes a bit, but even in these early moments we can see that we’re in the presence of magical greatness and it’s not long before he launches into the kind of magic that only he can do – proving to anyone who might care to question him that he is indeed a prestidigitator to be reckoned with, and anyone who says any different is going to be turned into a white rabbit. And left that way.
Simple card tricks and number puzzles are soon discarded in favour of extravagant magic in the vein of Las Vegas performers like Penn and Teller, and the finale piece is so breathtakingly brilliant that – even though our logical minds tell us that it’s all distraction and sleight of hand – the audience leave the show convinced that they have witnessed real sorcery and not mere stage magic.