Luke Oseland is evidentially locally renowned. Enterprising neighbors of his venue, on noticing the busy queue on the evening that Drunk Magic was reviewed, called down “Would you like to see a magic trick?” before mooning the tipsy crowd. This feat prompted cheers, but not as many as Oseland received for his first ever Fringe show. A babyfaced twenty year old, Oseland may make those of us in our late twenties feel like dinosaurs—a few members of his audience could be heard fondly reminiscing about their own university days after the show. However, despite his youth he has put together a strong, well-arranged show.
Oseland never misses a trick. He has a “free shot Friday” policy, luring audience participants to join him onstage with alcohol—and that’s not the only free drinks on offer, Oseland is generous with his booze. He is never short of enthusiastic volunteers to help him out. This easy rapport with the audience is a standout feature of the show. The one time this drunk young man made a slightly unkind comment to an audience member he immediately self-corrected and apologized profusely. He even managed to convince a stranger going to the toilet to buy him a pint of Guinness on the way back, and only just missed splitting the G—perhaps the one trick of the evening that didn’t go quite right.
Wisely, Oseland performs his more dangerous stunt tricks first in the show, when he has not yet been drinking for as long. A card trick in this section is particularly effective, with an expressive participant offering words of encouragement. His later alcohol-themed reinterpretations of magic are perhaps the more interesting to see, as he has so perfectly fit the tricks in to his theme. Many magicians have used a stopwatch to time themselves getting out of a straightjacket, but Oseland’s take is much more fun and challenging. He is funniest in his off-the-cuff remarks to the audience, and while his more scripted patter has its moments it does occasionally feel like he is still developing his unique voice—the sole tell that this is his first Fringe.
This publication was advised to see Oseland by the secretary of The Pentacle Club of Cambridge, who said that Oseland would be famous one day. It’s easy to see why. Oseland has carved out the perfect niche for his skill set and current drinking capacity, but it’s clear that his magical skill, creativity, and general charisma will give him ample room to pivot to a less drunken performance when he has to, and take him far. Fringe goers can go to Drunk Magic to catch this star on the rise.
More information on Oseland and his performance dates can be found here.