Tom Brace: Embrace the Impossible is a truly all-ages show. There’s the brightly colored props and exciting flashy effects to keep the kids entertained, and a pleasant nostalgia-fest for us adults—for those of us around Brace’s age, harkening back to a time when we were children ourselves, before we were fully aware of the often disastrous state of the world. The nineties theme runs throughout the show, which goes by quickly. Brace brings plenty of excitement to keep the audience interested.
It is not often that a magician who faces the sheer number of issues outside of his control that Brace faced on the day that this show was reviewed turns this in to such a positive. People both arrived and left late, and he could not have been more graceful about this, allowing both sets of individuals to run across his stage to get to and from the exit efficiently. Brace also had to deal with a dodgy microphone, which turned in to a lovely moment when his friend and techie joined him onstage to fix it. Sadly it did not last, and Brace eventually gave up on the microphone, but with his projection the whole audience could easily still hear him. He did not miss a beat through dealing with all this—perhaps a more impressive skill than any of the magic.
That being said, the magic was excellent as well. A card trick themed on Who Wants to be a Millionaire was a highlight of the show reviewed, with an enthusiastic participant (the very same lady who arrived late carrying two pints) who was happy to let Brace work his way through her phone book to find a friend who would pick up when she called. They found someone, in the end, leading to a much anticipated reveal, although with the onstage chemistry between Brace, his participant, and even her offstage friends, no one in the audience minded the extra long build up.
Just off bustling Bristo Square, Embrace the Impossible in Brace’s fantastic company is a great way to spend an hour of the Fringe, especially but not exclusively for those of us who remember the nineties. It may not be the kind of show that ordinarily comes with a lesson, it’s more of a good time show. However, the reviewed show certainly did—that if you can accept the uncontrollable problems in your life and make the best of it, you may just end up even more memorable than if you get caught up in trying to be perfect. Brace’s audience can safely expect a great show regardless of how much goes wrong around him.
More information on Brace and his performance dates can be found here.