The stage was set with receptacles, a table and his name in massive light up letters. The introductory lighting was designed to initiate a party feel, and through the show there were good lighting state changes to help provide focus or audience illumination when needed.
James talked a little about his history - why he does magic and which tricks he chooses. As nephew of Paul Daniels he has a hard act to live up to; delivered in a likeable manner. He transitioned easily in to tricks, was constantly engaging the audience, and rallied off of them to great humorous effect. This wasn’t a ‘smooth’ performance by any means - but then you’re not to know who will be in the audience and what challenges they will give you.
I myself was asked to pick out a card and remember it, he got it right, and I know I wasn’t a plant, so it was definitely authentic.
There was a lot of magic with cards, there was some mind-reading, and there were ploys that I shan’t disclose. It all tied together as a great show; if unintentionally hilarious. He went with it, he kept the audience on board, he was occasionally self-deprecating, but everyone certainly seemed to be having a very good time.
It’s hard to tell you more about what happened without spoiling the surprises, but know this: The magic was great, the delivery was very relaxed, and there was the right level of pzaz. So get on over to pack the room out even more - he deserves it.
James is playing at the Gilded Ballon Teviot House from 6.45pm most days, details at: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/james-phelan-troublemaker