The opening animation sets the tone perfectly for Sam Fitton’s Dreamer—good, silly fun, like a perfectly planned magical dream. While Fitton is a personable performer and Dreamer is notable for its creativity, there is room for improvement in its execution.
If there is a theme to Dreamer, it is Fitton’s wacky magical perception of everyday life. This is epitomized in his opening sequence, which features Fitton struggling through his morning routine as the implements of his daily life transform into illusions. His use of real-life props in his tricks integrates them into the vignette. The tricks are often common, but Fitton has put them together into a charming storyline.
Fitton’s friendly stage presence is felt at every turn. As is common in magic shows, Dreamer requires audience participation, but in one section Fitton plays with this standard by involving the entire audience, firing props into the crowd and teaching everyone a simple magic trick. I, for one, was surprised by how amused I was with this, and found myself repeating the trick over and over for my own entertainment for the rest of the day. It was a lovely reminder of the joyful wonder that Fitton radiates with every movement.
Not every audience member is so lucky, and in another section Fitton pulls someone from the crowd and throws them into his script with no warning. It is perhaps inarguably true that all members of the audience at a magic show must be prepared to be called upon to assist the magician, but it is equally the duty of the magician to make those called upon feel safe in their temporary spotlight. Fortunately on that afternoon the participant for this section appeared unfazed. However, the rest of the audience may have felt justifiably wary of helping Fitton for the rest of the show.
This issue was confined to a single section of Dreamer, but general issues with Fitton’s execution of his tricks were less constrained. There are moments when the audience catches glimpses of the mechanics behind Fitton’s magic, which is, on occasion, a little bit distracting from the overall performance.
These performance problems aside, Dreamer is delightful. Its whimsical framework for Fitton’s magic tricks is consistently inventive and engaging. Fitton is promisingly creative and reliably fun to watch.
Sam Fitton can be found at the Voodoo Rooms (Venue 68) during the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe at 15:25 from August 21-25
More information on Sam Fitton and his performance dates can be found here