Elliot Bibby presents McMagic Moments, the only Scottish-themed magic show at the 2018 Fringe. You can’t mistake the Scottish theme – from the saltire as a stage backdrop, to the tartan jacket Bibby wears to the items he materialises seemingly from thin air – Irn Bru and Tunnocks confectionery. The show is billed as a comedy magic show but fails to inspire more than a few chuckles and the magic tricks aren’t particularly spectacular.
Audience members are integral to the magic and some of the participants are funnier than Bibby himself as he bumbles when one comes back with a snappy one-liner and another proves herself to be an accomplished card shuffler. The show involves a lot of sleight of hand and reading of minds which cause mild amusement and bemusement. There’s an ongoing narrative about Bibby’s auntie in Skye with callbacks to this throughout the show to attempt keep the audience engaged.
There’s a skit about an Australian advice service for card tricks which relies on the audience thinking the Aussie pronunciation of the word “deck” is hilarious. The more the joke is repeated the less funny it becomes. Bibby drops a few F-bombs to elevate his show into the adult realm but the cheesy jokes, puns and tricks would be more suited to a children’s show.
Bibby clearly has international appeal – taking his magic to festivals in Australia and his Scottish schtick probably goes down well abroad. You can understand why he would market himself as unique in a sea of illusionists, but there are better and funnier magic shows happening at the Fringe.
If the show was slicker and more spectacular it would be worth the price of admission. Instead, the show ends on more of a whimper than a bang and the tricks are easily forgettable.