In a field where puns abound, Alex Kouvatas stands out as a master of their usage. He sets the tone early in Something is Missing, bringing out the fish as promised. Kouvatas is fantastic with his humour, charm with his audience, and in bringing his own take to his magic. However, he falters markedly in stitching the elements of his show together.
Kouvatas performs a succession of magic and mentalist tricks, personalized to his style and performance. His take on making an audience member’s money disappear is a fun example which he uses to bookend the show, but maybe even more fun is the fairly standard card trick which he adds his own ending to, preserving the magic for those who have seen the first part of the trick before. He is warm with his participants, even explaining a pandemic-polite contact free hug at the end of a trick.
Unfortunately Kouvatas struggles slightly, most notably in his transitions and confidence. These two points of issue seemed to feed into each other, but as the show goes on, he appears to gain some confidence and transition more smoothly between tricks. In addition, Something is Missing brings up interesting topics like dissonance between social norms of success and personal feelings of fulfillment that don’t get the time in the show to feel fully explored, but sound worth exploring.
What seems to be is missing from Kouvatas’s show it is time and practice. He suits the stage, shows an impressive degree of creativity in how he performs his tricks, and hints at an inclination to integrate broader themes in to his work. He is certainly a magician to keep one’s eye on in the future.
Any Fringe debut is a huge achievement. Making his Fringe debut during this weird pandemic Fringe must take an unbelievable amount of courage, for which Kouvatas deserves commendation. And while his show could do with fine tuning, his wit and charm make him worth a visit this year.