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Review: Misdirected
Written by Richard Stamp   
Published on Monday, 12 July 2010

High Jinx – otherwise known as Michael and Siobhan Jordan – were award-winners at last year’s Buxton Fringe, so there’s much to anticipate in their magic show, Misdirected.  And I didn’t leave disappointed; it may not have the flashiest illusions or the slickest script, but their plain-and-simple double act is big on easy charm.

Barely old enough to be out of school, the pair are candid about the fact they’re still learning their craft – but they’ve certainly already mastered the personality.  Michael has an air of cheeky fun and takes care of most of the patter, while Siobhan’s perfected the horrified look as she packs herself into the latest contraption they’ve dragged out from back-stage.  That’s not to say, though, that Siobhan is a mere glamorous assistant; it’s a mainly equal pairing, and they both have a chance to show off their developing skills during the hour-long show.

Though many of the tricks were well-known magic staples, there were several which stood out as something new.  The “Sands of Siobhan” started slowly, but had a big surprise at the end; I’d better not give the game away, since half the fun is trying to guess what she’s actually going to do with that fish-bowl.  There was obvious appreciation, too, for their synchronized straightjacket escape, where well-chosen music added a fresh twist and played up the comedic side of their struggles.

What I missed, though, was some sense of uniqueness: a feeling I was getting something I wouldn’t get with any other magic show.  Oddly, the fact they’re brother and sister wasn’t even mentioned till halfway through; the trick which followed – based on memories of toys from their youth – worked well, and I was a little sorry they hadn’t made more of their distinctive back-story.

But the best moment, I think, comes at the very end; the set-up was itself an act of misdirection, and I was utterly caught off-balance by the trick which finally ensued.  As I packed away my notebook, the man sitting next to me declared: “That deserves a write-up from everyone”.  And he’s right: if you’re looking for a good-value, good-humoured, traditional magic show, a trip to see High Jinx is far from misdirected.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

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