Magic Fest: Colin Cloud & David Blanco

Well where do I start with reviewing these out of this world shows? Well quite probably at the beginning! Following being approached by Jim Welsh to review couple of shows at the Magic Fest 2014 (a festival which began in 2010 making this year the 5th Magic Fest) and getting in touch with Vicky who covers PR for the festival.

First off, Jamie and I interviewed Kevin McMahon, Magic Fest’s main man, on our lunchtime show, and then I took the opportunity to take in a couple of shows and interview the performers.

I arrived at Adam House on Chamber Street in Edinburgh, to an amazing foyer and the most helpful staff. Before I interviewed Colin Cloud, I took the opportunity to go and see his show – Forensic Mind Reader – which I would recommend to absolutely anyone to go and see, but with an open mind and willingness to take part (but an interest in magic is not required). I took my seat in the auditorium not knowing what the show was about or what was going to happen, but when the curtain goes up you are instantly drawn into the action and anticipation of what is to come, and the performance is beautifully intertwined with a comedic element that is used to put the audience at ease and not to feel intimidated.

The show and Colin’s style had elements which you could find if you were to see Derren Brown live, but meets Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes with a sprinkling of The Mentalist thrown in, but with a more gently paced and friendly atmosphere, and Colin himself was down to earth and friendly. He even drew on his own past experiences, an example being when he worked for ‘Tree of Knowledge’.

Following the show, as everyone left Colin was only too happy to meet people and shake hands and thank people. Once Colin had taken down his set from his show in order to let the next show on, we then met in a quiet room to conduct the interview where he was really open and friendly and was not afraid to share, we even shared a couple of laughs during the interview along with a cheesy pun.

My next venture to Magic Fest was to meet David Blanco. I arrived at the Vault on Merchant Street in Edinburgh, a beautiful venue despite being small and hidden away which has a relaxed and spacious foyer and – typical of Magic Fest – helpful staff. Once again I took the opportunity to see the show, Honest Lies, which I would recommend to anyone who is looking for something a little more slow paced, especially if you have a willingness to take part and even get up on stage too! I took my seat in the small auditorium, once again with a slight nervous anticipation to find out what was going to happen, to be gently eased into the show and, as with Colin’s show, with an element of comedy to put the audience at ease.David’s unique style, which has an air reminiscent of Derren Brown (that name again!) and a touch of Paul Daniels was open, friendly and able to go with the flow of the audience. Another brilliant night at Magic Fest.

As with Colin the previous night, as everyone left David was only too happy to meet people and shake hands and talk, and to thank them for coming along. We then conducted the interview in the auditorium whilst the next show got set up, where he, too, proved to be an open and friendly person and was an very good interviewee despite the language barrier.

Well what more can I say? It looks as though it’s time for me to take my exit, stage right, giving a standing ovation from the stalls. Watch out Derren you’ve got competition coming your way in the form of Colin Cloud and David Blanco, two top-notch performers and they’re can only going to get better!

(Editor’s Note: Ben’s interviews were recorded and broadcast on the Lunchtime Show with him and Jamie)

Ben Dyson