The Piff the Magic Dragon Show

Comedy

Assembly George Square Theatre.

20.30

August  3rd to 13th

****

This extraordinary performer was the loser of America’s Got Talent who went on to have a sell-out show in Las Vegas and a record-breaking U S tour. As he commented, he has now reached the apogee of his career appearing in a lecture theatre at the Fringe.

Piff has amazing magic skills, doubtless honed over many years of painstaking study. He can justly celebrate himself and pat his own shoulders as the audience is amazed by his uncanny card tricks. Mr Piffles, the very obliging and cooperative Chihuahua, is one of the stars of the show. The woman in front of me was rather upset at one stage, but the performer calmed her and said of course no harm came to the wee animal despite his substantial part in proceedings.

Piff’s management of the audience is one of the striking things here. Always fully in command but at all times making a friendly, whimsical and humorous connection. Audience participation is a large element here, and this may add much to people’s joy – I’m sure it did for the family in front of me – and some people no doubt delight in walking out with money smelling of dog food which they can then waft under their friends’ noses.

Some of this guy’s achievements are pretty mind-blowing and there was a sequence that put me in mind of an M R James story – very cool. The show was received rapturously by a sell-out audience when I saw it, so I suggest you get your tickets quickly if you want to experience this very fine show during its short run in Edinburgh.

Tony Challis