Review: Barry and Stuart

Magicians Barry Jones and Stuart MacLeod promise a new twist in their latest show: they give away all their secrets at the end.

Their Show and Tell tour begins with a fairly conventional first half with a mix of theatre-style magic. These aren't big set pieces but a series of neatly created and performed tricks that fit well on the Norwich Playhouse stage.

The act lacks a little pace at times but most of the tricks deliver and the duo's patter stays just the right side of smug - always a risk for conjurors.

But it's after the break things change, with the two stripping their work bare.

Each trick is broken down into its constituent parts, showing the sleight of hand, misdirection and technology that together tricked you earlier.

Some parts of the act are pretty simple to deconstruct - others leave you still a little in awe of their ingenuity, even if your imagination has taken a back seat to your intellect. One explanation I frankly didn't believe.

Parts of this drag and the two need to shine a little more brightly on stage to really engage the audience, but for the most part it is a genuinely interesting peek behind the curtain.

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It's not unknown for magicians to reveal their secrets with several acts breaking the taboo in recent years and so Barry and Stuart's claim for edginess is a little overblown. What do they do deliver is an interesting and entertaining night out.

Barry and Stuart return to the Playhouse on Saturday night at 8pm.

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