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Kids/Reviews/Circus/Fringe World Festival

All the tricks in the book

19 January 2021

It’s high-energy family fun, even if it doesn’t quite come up to superlatives, Rosalind Appleby says of Best Show Ever.

Best Show Ever, Magnus Danger Magnus, Morgan James and Pierre Ulric ·
Edith Spiegeltent, 17 January, 2021 ·

Magnus Danger Magnus, Morgan James and Pierre Ulric are highly acclaimed in their areas of magic, clowning and science, so when they decide to pool their talents for a kids’ stage spectacle titled Best Show Ever, expectations are high. Will it really be that good?

The three performers – dressed in immaculate retro suits with tartan highlights – looked impressive in the luxurious Edith Spiegeltent, backed by a regalia of lights, smoke machines and musical soundtrack.

Best Show Ever’ opens with impressive fire juggling.

They worked hard to engage their young audience in the heat (I’m not sure if the air conditioning blackout was a glitch or by design, but we were all sweltering), using all the tricks in the book: audience volunteers, a missing person (“He’s behind you!”) and even a dash of performer petulance “I’m not going to do it even if you chant DO IT DO IT … OK, I’ll do it!”

The show opened with some impressive fire juggling and continued with a showcase of classic magic, science and circus tricks. The loose narrative about one of the characters getting stuck in the future had my seven-year-old engrossed, and watch out for the disappearing trick, which had her completely stunned. My favourite was the diabolo juggling with the hourglass-shaped cup – Morgan James’s spectacular multi-cup juggling was synchronised to a pumping soundtrack and it sizzled with energy.

Other tricks had mixed success: the plate spinning never quite got us on the edge of our seats, the erupting potion was interesting but visually underwhelming from where we were sitting, and the bubble wands must’ve had stage fright because they refused to co-operate.

So no, I’m afraid it wasn’t the best show ever. But I have a hunch it will get better as the season unfolds, and we still recommend these guys for a fun family afternoon.

Best Show Ever is in the Edith Spiegeltent, Woodside Pleasure Garden, until 31 January and on 7 and 14 February.

Pictured top: Morgan James spins plates while Pierre Ulric makes a mess trying to help in ‘Best Show Ever’. Photo supplied

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Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind Appleby is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She is co-editor of Seesaw Magazine, author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine. She loves the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.

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