South presents soft, intimate array of close up tricks to an audience that is able to gather as closely as prevailing pandemic norms allow. The magic used consists of several classic tricks that may be fairly familiar to magic fans in the audience. South works his way through several card, coin, and hoop tricks, all performed well. A fun variation sees him perform a trick using the ubiquitous PBH Free Fringe program guide. This essential guide to every Fringe schedule is much thinner this year than usual, perhaps making it easier to give it the centre-stage treatment that it gets at this point in South’s show.
There is no issue in South’s performance of his magic, but the show feels a bit stilted with inconsistent transitions. After some of his tricks the audience feels like they are just watching South tidy away his props before he takes out the next one and continues to perform. Having a more consistent stream of patter or integrating the necessary transition points in to the act may help the show flow more smoothly.
Given the reduced audience sizes of this pandemic Fringe, South is able to include the majority of his audience in the magic. Participants don’t even have to get up on stage, as South is able to include them where they are sitting. South is friendly and respectful with everyone who he includes in his show.
In Close Up Conjuring South does exactly what it says in the title. It’s a pretty standard, boilerplate show from a performer who has the magical skill to perform convincingly to an audience sat very close to him. This is a solid show for those looking for an afternoon of magic.
More information on Simon South and his performance dates can be found here.