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

What do you think?

Today's comedy-on demand picks

NICK HELM: ALL KILLER SOME FILLER

This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

Click for more suggestions

... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.