Champions of Magic Review : Gaiety Theatre by Calvin Daniel

When baby-faced magician Edward Hilsum appeared on stage in Ayr we could have been forgiven for thinking we’d accidently wandered into the Gaiety Theatre’s crèche.

But within seconds the young performer had the audience spellbound with his enthusiastic delivery of some proper old- school magic.

The traditional stuff might not be to everyone’s taste, but the beauty of this show is that it showcases a variety of styles – ensuring everyone’s a winner.

They don’t call it Champions of Magic for nothing you know!

It all crackles along at a fair old pace, too, with Hilsum soon making way for mind-reader Alex McAleer – think Derren Brown’s better-looking but equally charismatic apprentice and you’re just about there.

McAleer steals the show with a mesmerising display of mentalism (is that a word?), culminating in him metaphorically ripping open an audience member’s brain in the name of entertainment.

And entertaining it was too!

Fay Presto (gettit?) then rolls back the years with an act right out of the ‘traditional’ school of close-up magic.

Presto’s appearance may prompt your brain to recall an eccentric great aunt, but having performed for both theatre royalty and the actual Queen, she’s guaranteed to have you hooked with a combination of quality trickery and vaguely-related anecdotes.

McAleer may steal the show, but it’s the part-magic, part-comedy pairing of (Richard) Young and (Sam) Strange who end it.

The duo’s easy charm and boundless enthusiasm ensures there’s no let-up in the pace as the evening reaches a thrilling climax.

But, I hear you ask, can Strange actually walk through a giant fan without being ripped to shreds by it’s rotating metal blades?

Well, that’s for you to find out…