Barry and Stuart: The Show

The macarbe magicians return

Review by Rebecca Paul | 27 Aug 2011

Barry and Stuart: The Show this year has a twist. Upon arrival we’re handed red glasses through which we can view the secret to the first magic trick we’re shown via a projector. Interesting.  We learn that the secrets to The Show will be divulged in their follow-up, The Tell.

Barry and Stuart’s devious magic is littered with their disparaging banter with one another.  There’s a teenage charm to their work as they tell each story and present each flourish with cheeky sarcasm and with this year’s show they are particularly funny, perhaps at their best when they seemingly go off script.

There are a number of impressive tricks here, the highlight being changing water into wine which is a very neat little trick that is perhaps slightly buried beneath the razmataz of the show.

Barry and Stuart are the Tom and Jerry of the magic world with their penchant for violence and gore. This year didn’t disappoint as we saw beds of nails, goldfish seemingly dropped in sulphuric acid, guns, bleach, razors and some escapology.

It was curious to see the pair utilising Twitter and Facebook in one trick. We really get the impression these guys are constantly trying to take magic further, using some thoroughly modern magic.

Barry and Stuart are a joy to watch and each year they try to deliver something new (and hopefully more shocking) than the year before. While their routines are jaw-dropping and larger than life, there are moments of expert sleight-of-hand and truly breath-taking magic. The combination of their comfort with their craft and their need to always push it further makes them a guaranteed Fringe-favourite.