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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Brighton 2010 arrow Piff the Magic Dragon in... Piff-Tacular!
Piff the Magic Dragon in... Piff-Tacular!
Published on Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Oh my goodness, what are we doing?  We're recommending a conjuring show.  Performed by a man in a dragon suit.  Who calls himself Piff, has a mind-reading fish... and according to the Fringe programme, suffers from a "penchant for princesses".  Have we taken leave of our minds?


We don't think so.  Over the last year or so, Piff The Magic Dragon has been a breath of fresh fire on the Fringe comedy circuit, with standing-room-only houses greeting his last few shows in Edinburgh.  Imagine Jack Dee as a stage magician, and you’ll have an idea of Piff’s style; he’s bored rigid by it all, and that makes it all the funnier.

The man inside the dragon suit is John van der Put, actually a highly-talented magician with a prestigious prize for close-up magic to his name.  Reviewing the 2009 show, FringeGuru’s Trystan Davies admitted he’d been bemused by the idea, but pleasantly surprised by the execution: van der Put’s variety and sophistication, he wrote, kept the humour going and the audience on its toes.

Piff does a good line, too, in well-judged ad-libs, as the self-declared princess-hunter plays cheekily with the ladies in the front row.  It is, of course, a novelty act – and if you just don’t get the joke, you’re in for a long hour.  But most people find one glance at the grumpy dragon enough to raise a smile; and if you’re anything like us, you'll love that rascal Piff.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.