You can’t believe your eyes when Pete Firman’s around – even in a venue as bijou as the Ashcroft.
He’s half comic, half trickster, and the title of the show, Hoodwinker, is entirely accurate.
Magic shows are as old as the hills, but Pete, familiar from the primetime BBC1 hit The Magicians, adds an extra dimension with his quick wit and easy rapport with audience members.
And there’s plenty of audience participation required here, mainly from people lending treasured watches or wedding rings for Pete to mystify the rest of the audience with.
The show began with an hilarious Rocky-style video sequence, with Pete in relentless training for the show, aided by TV pals including Derren Brown.
The man himself is a master of illusion. He’s a Paul Daniels for a new generation. Pete’s comic touch makes corny routines fresh and funny, and, close as I was, I still have no idea how any of it was done.