Not for nothing is Australian magician Bruce Glen’s entertaining show called ‘The Gentleman Magician’. Right from the start, you feel welcomed and put at ease by his genial, affable presence, impeccable manners and easy charm. He even chooses one audience member as a ‘guest of honour’ for special treatment. It’s almost like going to visit a favourite uncle who’s going to capture your imagination with tall stories and clever tricks.
And it seems entirely appropriate that Glen’s show takes place in the Scottish Storytelling Centre, for he embeds his tricks within tales of Houdini, Conan Doyle and Lewis Carroll, so that sometimes you’re almost unaware of the stunts he’s pulling off in front of you until they’ve actually happened.
His magic plays with the simplest of materials – string, handkerchiefs, rings, packs of cards – but it’s Glen’s unassuming charm that makes the show distinctive. The pace can seem a little on the relaxed side, but it’s a slick, polished performance that still often manages to astound. One particular trick involving what Glen calls a ‘replicator spirit’ has to be seen to be believed.
Bruce Glen: The Gentleman Magician continues at the Scottish Storytelling Centre until Friday 6 July (except Monday 2 July) at 8.30pm. The Edinburgh International Magic Festival continues until Friday 6 July.