July 15, 2015
As we’ve said before, we love events, we love entertainment and we love going to see a great show. Piff the Magic Dragon is over from Vegas for just a few weeks over the summer, performing in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe, and we thought we’d check him out to add a little fire to our lives.
There’s one thing you must understand when you sit down to watch Piff the Magic Dragon; this is no ordinary magic show. Fusing comedy, costume, magic and a Chihuahua in a dragon outfit called Mr. Piffles, we were treated to ninety minutes of ramshackle fun, beginning the night with Piff’s furry assistant being shot from a cannon and into a metal dustbin. So far, so Piff.
A croissant is introduced to the audience (more on that later) before we’re split into four teams, the night apparently going to proceed with a fair amount of interaction with the crowd. We were in the green team, which for reasons only known to ourselves, we decided to call ‘Team Blue’ to confuse our dour host. Piff’s constant sarcasm and dry wit go down a storm with the crowd as we spend a good ten minutes assigning captains and wondering what the points will mean at the end (spoiler: ultimately nothing). He's come a long way since entertaining us in our offices!
Using help from another assistant, the permanently smiling Sophie Sunshine – a joke at the expense of glamorous assistants of the past – Piff rattles through a number of different magic tricks, from finding signed cards, mind reading using a goldfish (a poor audience had to lick the fish for the trick to work...) and tearing and restoring paper money. It’s all in good fun and although we’ve seen some of these tricks before, it’s the performance that really makes it. There’s a maths-based trick late on that didn’t really engage us but by the end, we were having too much of a good time to care.
And why was that, you ask? Well, we were lucky enough to be sitting next to the man who ended up buying the aforementioned croissant for £40. Yes, it went to charity but his wife and daughter were in disbelief as he walked to the stage to hand over the cash. A dance from a Vegas showgirl was his unexpected reward and as the embarrassed man returned to his family, we were privy to his rather wonderful apology – “...I thought someone would bid fifty...”
Piff is a lot of fun if you want something different and some of his magic tricks are a joy to behold. Mr. Piffles only serves to enhance the performance and if you get a chance to see him in Edinburgh, we strongly urge you to experience an act that is currently taking the States by storm on America’s Got Talent.
Just try and ensure you aren’t the worked picked for the goldfish segment...
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By Henry Fosdike