According to Elliot Bibby, his is the only Scottish-themed magic show at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe. This isn’t something that would necessarily be obvious, but once you think about it, you realize it’s true. It seems a little wrong that this fantastic festival that absolutely explodes across Edinburgh for a full month every year would lack representation of their hosts in a category as significant as magic, but that’s exactly what’s happened. That being said, Bibby certainly does his homeland proud in this snappy and sweet show.
The Scottish theme is ever present but not invasive, making an appearance with a Saltire as the focal point of the sparse stage decor, Scottish music, and in Bibby’s stories of his grandmother in Skye. These stories provide Bibby’s foundation for his show, and work well to connect each element of his magic into a compelling experience. Winding effortlessly between different style of tricks, from working with cards to mentalism and beyond, Bibby proves that his enormous skill at sleight of hand is only matched by his charm. Bibby also succeeds in rolling with the unexpected. He keeps his cool and deals admirably with his occasional tech problems and confused volunteers.
Bibby’s greatest strength, even considering his fast-paced and impeccably performed magic, is his ability to engage his audience. He is genuinely funny in an unpackaged way, for although he certainly has mastered his practiced patter, he also has a open and cheerful affect that makes everyone happy to be there and comes across friendly and sincere. Bibby has perfected the balance of the aloof mystery that so befits a magician and heartfelt authenticity.
To say Elliot Bibby’s McMagic Moments is the best Scottish-themed magic show at the Edinburgh Fringe might be a little too cheeky. But just because it is the only one doesn’t mean it isn’t still worth a visit, not just for the novelty, but because it’s a fun and exciting show.