Pete Heat’s name is especially appropriate for the day that his Fringe show Blimey was reviewed. August has been unusually warm, and another mini heat wave this week saw Gilded Balloon staff warning audience members about the heat in Heat’s room and handing out cups of water along the queue. It was indeed especially hot, even for a Fringe venue, but with the fans kept running and Heat adjusting his volume to compensate the show was able to go on.
The majority of the run time of the show was not taken up by magic, Heat mentions toying with the idea of turning to stand up comedy full time and it’s evident that he would have no trouble generating material. This does not come across as a flaw. The full effect of his comedy and the sprinkling of magic does not fail to entertain. While most of the creativity of the show is focused on the trappings around the magic—Heat’s delightful stories and inventive comedy props—the magic that he does, which includes both sleight of hand and mentalism, feels freshened by Heat’s performance.
In a crowded little room with a nearly sold out show it was difficult for Heat to get too much in to his audience, but he ensures that everyone can get involved from their seats. Despite the full room, with his height and proximity to the seats Heat is able to ensure that his magic is visible to the entire audience. A few individuals were invited to join Heat on stage to witness his magic up close, and seemed suitably impressed by the experience.
One point in Heat’s monologuing that may come across as odd to the Edinburgh magic fan is that it is not possible to use magic as a form of self-expression the way you could with other art forms. Contrary to this assertion, Heat is currently sharing the metaphoric stage of the Fringe with several masters of such emotive magic. It feels incorrect to point out this shortcoming in magic as a genre without acknowledging that there are a significant number who buck the trend, or joining them as an example of the range of possible magical performance. With his creativity and skill this absolutely feels like a feasible route for Heat if it’s a direction that he is interested in going in.
Heat’s blend of stand up and magic makes for an exceptional hour regardless of the weather. The audience is left wanting more, more stories, more magic, more of Heat’s show, a sure sign that Blimey is worth a visit.
More information on Pete Heat and his performance dates can be found here.