Piff the Magic Dragon
Piff the magic dragon is a magician. However, he’s also a fully grown (if tiny) man who turns up to work in a flammable-looking velour dragon suit, and plays with the occasional pyrotechnic. That’s dedication. It’s also cute overload, particularly when you add in the psychic chihuahua Mr Piffles (dressed in a matching dragon suit), a host of finger puppets, and a liberally thumped about Barbie doll.
Sleight of hand is all about distraction, and I can’t help thinking John van der Put’s best trick is using Piff’s persona to distract us from the fact that some of his sleight of hand is pretty bloody ropey – I dread to think what the folk at the front saw, because I was in the back row and that cigarette was always visible.
However, his card and cash tricks, delivered to a background of well-timed plinky plonk muzak, were much more impressive (as agreed by Penn and Teller on “Fool Us”). And to be honest it’s his dry-slash-flirty-slash-wide boy banter that really charms you.
Piff the Magic Dragon: The Last of the Magic Dragons, 4-28 August (not 16), Just the Tonic @ The Store. Tickets £5-£9http://www.piffthemagicdragon.com