Pete Firman: Hokum

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Bad hair. Bad suit. Cheesy jokes. Geek-tastic show! Pete Firman is a skilled magician, a performer whose job depends on deception, then seemingly undeceiving the audience, but then leaving them to wonder if they’ve been wrong footed again.

He is the antithesis of cool. Unlike smug little Derren Brown wafting about in his velvet suits, Pete Firman presents himself as a nerdy northern loser who acquired magic in lieu of social skills.

There are only so many tricks in the canon: after that it’s a question of variation and scale. There’s penetration, a switch trick, cards, balloons, telepathy, ingestion, expulsion and something truly spectacular which it would be wrong to reveal here, but I’ve never seen its like before!

There are a couple of queasy moments – can there ever really be any need to drop your trousers? – but otherwise it’s a rollicking hour without a dull moment.

Pete has the cheesy patter of a Seventies comic, he’s got it down so pat that it comes back full circle, into the ironic area. With his sloping shoulders and flickering tongue, he is leering and needy one moment and cocky and in control the next.

He pretends to expose secrets, he pretends to fail. He always wins and you want him to. The key is that it’s all done with a used car salesman’s desperate persona. This is a timeless magic show, defiantly seedy, emphatically not suitable for children and better for it.

Go for the magic without pomposity and relish the retro-style comedy.

Reviewed by: Julian Chambers

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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