If you startle easy (as I do) the crack of a whip on a crowded street can be a terrifying sound. However, in the case I am describing, it indicated something awesome was to come.

Street performance is really cool inherently, and to do successfully requires crazy impressive showmanship skills.  If someone comes to a stage show, they’ve already spent their money on a ticket, and are thus likely to stick it through regardless. But street performers have to make the audience committed. Todd Various was one of the best street performers I have seen in this regard. Mr Various, with his cowboy persona and vicious looking whips was genuinely funny in a relaxed way that kept the crowd both entertained and at ease throughout the show.

The insane thing is, Mr Various doesn’t do a massive amount of tricks in that time. He actually only does a couple. But due to his entertaining chatter and undeniably likable personality, it seems like a lot more happens.

The tricks that are performed are pretty impressive to see, but the truly great quality was his talent as an entertainer. Mr Various could make jokes at peoples’ expense without being nasty about it, convince dubious tourists to play along with his show, and keep an audience enthralled on a chilly day in Edinburgh for nearly an hour- all without guarantee that they will give him money for his performance. But they damn well should (and I was happy to see did) because this funny, startling, captivating show was absolutely fantastic.

If this was a stage show I would say here where it is playing and at what time but ??? uh Royal Mile, Edinburgh, in the afternoon? Look for the guy wearing a cowboy hat and just stick around until he does something interesting?

+ I realize at no point in this review did I explain the purpose of the whip I mentioned in the beginning. Good. Be curious.

++ I accidentally saw this show twice (there is v little to do on Sundays in Edinburgh. I am not actually a stalker) so this review basically covers both performances at the same time.

More information on Todd Various can be found here

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