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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Oxfringe 2012 arrow Tricks and treats - Monday 4 June
Tricks and treats - Monday 4 June

Today it finally stopped raining, so I did the decent thing and went punting. I left the actual work to someone less likely to capsize the boat, and focused on my strengths – which I sensed today would lean towards thinking up annoying punting related puns. I’m most proud of the one where I asked if the good weather would help bring in the punters. You can infer the quality of the rest from there.

Now that it’s a bit drier, there’s time to appreciate the city. It’s easy to see Oxford as the perfect Fringe town. It’s picturesque, easy to get around just by walking, and already has a strong arts crowd. There are some brilliant theatres, that are pretty luxurious compared to the pub spaces that fringes are often built on. If the smaller, more rough and ready venues start to grow in number, Oxford will have one exciting festival on its hands.

4 starsAn Evening of Magic, Comedy and Illusion

I hardly dare imagine the moment when Rich Young met Sam Strange. I’m only just getting over the fact that those are their real names. Fresh from appearing on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us, the double act are performing their signature fusion of magic and comedy to a packed-out house. 

The magic is a mixture of classic sleight of hand and grander-scale illusions. You might have seen some of the tricks before, but Young and Strange make them their own by adding their own brand of comedy. Their double act revolves around the interaction between their characters – the showy Strange and excitable Young. The pair have good comedy instincts, but could aim to create two more distinct characters in order to further engage the audience.

An evening in the middle of a bank holiday weekend is going to draw a multi-generational crowd. Young and Strange pitch the act well, delighting adults and children in equal measure. They’re particularly gifted at misdirecting the audience into believing that they’ve guessed the trick, and then revealing that something quite different is happening; the show is nicely paced and keeps the audience on their toes.

Young and Strange certainly aim for spectacle, opening the show with a short and entertaining set-up film. Their use of music to support the illusions ties in well with this, but was perhaps a little overused. While it supports some moments excellently, there are others that would benefit from a touch of patter, if only to distract the audience from guessing how the trick is accomplished.

Young and Strange are a likeable pair that successfully combine magic and comedy to create an entertaining show, that thoroughly impressed the crowd and left them shouting for more for a good few minutes after they left the stage. 

And that’s the end of my last full day in Oxford. Tomorrow it’s a lunchtime concert, then I’m squeezing in Isy Suttie’s show Pearl and Dave before catching the train back to London. It’s been a good few days but hopefully I’ll have time for a little bit more adventure before I have to leave.

Rain and reviewing - Sund... >>


These are archived reviews of shows from Oxfringe 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.