‘No secrets’ could be the tagline for this show. Considering the ‘mystery’ appeal that most magicians will make their living on, this is a bit out of the ordinary. Alan Hudson’s show is pure silly, happy, humble magic, and he doesn’t pretend to be anything more than exactly what he is.
And what he is is spelled out right on his flyer: a comic with a feel-good magic show. But it works because he does it well. He’s working in a small venue here at the Fringe, where he stands at the same level as the audience, only a few feet from them. No room for frills or secrets, it’s just you and the magician- and Mr Hudson is a funny, friendly guy. He manages to make his audience like him nearly immediately, with jokes that hint of self deprecation, stupid dancing, and purposefully see-through magic.
This is all particularly notable on the night when I went. Mr Hudson messed up a trick in a way he couldn’t salvage in the moment. But perhaps with the exception of the woman whose wedding ring was now missing, he still had the audience on his side. The attitude was of willingness to gloss past the problem, not to blame him for fucking it up.
Perhaps not the guy to see if you want to be utterly astounded, but if you want to see some cool tricks and genuinely laugh for nearly an hour straight, Alan Hudson is the right choice.
Alan Hudson’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe show is on at Gilded Balloon at 19:45 until August 25th (not on the 13th).