Gilded Balloon
4-29 August, 15:45

Rhys Morgan and Rob West must be two of the hardest-working individuals at this year’s Fringe. In addition to performing, they’re dedicated bloggers on this website and out all over Edinburgh flyering round the clock, always in Victorian character and costume. You simply can’t miss them.

And their hard work is paying off. They’re enjoying sell-out audiences at the Gilded Balloon, most of whom probably never heard of the young duo a matter of days ago.

As magicians, they’re clearly talented, with a catalogue of familiar but well executed tricks, including mind-reading, card sleights and that one where a bunch of sewing pins and thread is swallowed and then regurgitated, strung together. It’s impressive, crowd-pleasing stuff, and Morgan and West engage the audience well despite a cramped venue that works against them.

However, I’d like to see them develop their stagecraft more. Occasionally, their patter sounds too much like they’re channelling Derren Brown; at other times, they lose momentum. And they could make much more of the Victorian schtick to keep things motoring. Still, lots of potential.