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I Hate Children Children's Show
Published on Friday, 20 August 2010

3 stars

Zoo Roxy (venue website)
6 - 30 Aug, 12:00pm (1:00pm)
Reviewed by Craig Thomson

Despite the promising title, there's little evidence that Paul Nathan hates children.  In fact, with his up-close demonstrations of some genuinely impressive magical illusions involving every willing child in the audience at some point, you sense that he might secretly quite like making them laugh.

He does this in spades, but has to overcome some resistance: the cynical children of Edinburgh aren't going to let a magician off the hook lightly.  Nathan is actually at his best, I think, when dealing with the surly kids who think they know it all.  It's surprisingly good fun to watch them fall for his bait, gleefully pointing out the magic-man's shortcomings as they think they've figured it all out, and then looking equal-parts crestfallen and delighted when he leaves them stumped with a mystifying elaboration of the earlier simple trick.

The I Hate Children Children's Show has an interactive element through its own website, which has the unusual but well-intentioned practice of posting photos of Nathan on-stage with his young apprentices.  The concept is that of a show which is fun for children and hilarious for adults.  My feeling was that the second objective was only partially succesful: Nathan's banter worked well enough, but the most enjoyable moments for parents seemed to be watching their own children being bamboozled.

As part of a recent resurgence of stage musicians, which seems particularly pronounced in the Fringe programme this year, Paul Nathan's show performs a useful double function: an amusing, interactive and "safe" entertainment for kids, that does just enough to keep the adults happy throughout.

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These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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