Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

A story of street magic is weaved through this spellbinding show which leaves audience members looking around for answers as to just how he did that. Richard Essien (AKA Magical Bones) starts with slight of hand moves, has a host of impressive card tricks and ends with a terrifying escapade which seems near impossible.

He introduces it all with a charm and ease which endears him to the packed out audience and has even taken on board feedback from previous reviews, inviting those at the back of the room to stand up at certain points so that they can see the stage more clearly. It is a refreshing approach to find a performer so eager to find out what isn’t quite right for his audience and then improve upon it.

Magical Bones started his route to magic as a hip hop dancer and entertains his audience with some skills as he continues to mesmerise with his tricks. He is also funny, a real showman and therefore is a triple threat, just perhaps not in the traditional sense of the phrase. His cheeky personality really keeps the show moving forward and as with most magicians these days, there is a great deal of audience participation. The real trick here is that nobody feels uncomfortable, due to the performer being so affable.

One trick involves the entire audience and it will not ruin the surprise to say it is about ‘making a connection.’ This sums up Magical Bones performance. He wants to connect with his audience, he wants to connect to his dancing roots, and he wants to connect to role models from the past such as Henry Box Brown, a slave who escaped to his freedom after shutting himself in a box for 27 hours and then shipping himself off to ‘a free state’.

As the show, Black Magic, comes to a close there are gasps and disbelief and Magical Bones rightly receives a great deal of applause for his debut Fringe show. On this evidence, he’ll be back, even bigger than before.