By Jay Menard
The most magical thing about Keith Brown is how he remains so personable and down-to-earth when he has so much talent and so much polish. Hotter than Potter is another successful Fringe show by the London-based magician and it shows continued growth in the all-so-important area of presentation.
In a less appealing person, Hotter than Potter — thought firmly tongue in cheek — could be considered arrogant. But Brown’s skill at presenting his tricks and interacting with the audience ensures that everyone knows that, despite his prodigious talent, he’s still a genuinely personable guy. He’s in on the joke — and while he may not take himself too seriously, it’s clear that he doesn’t cut any corners with his preparation and execution.
The personal aspect of the show is what I was most impressed about Hotter than Potter. The tricks, of course, are sublime. He’s incredibly talented, polished, and will continually present tricks that blow your mind. But it’s the moments in between ticks and leading up to them where he shows the most growth.
His previous shows may have featured more tricks by volume, but this show feels more naturally paced. The audience feels less like they’re being presented at, but are more co-conspirators in Brown’s trickery. It fosters a community atmosphere and a convivial pace that makes the evening even more enjoyable.
Hotter than Potter is a continuation in Brown’s development. He’s long been a stellar magician, but now he’s matching that talent with his affable personality and command of the audience. The stages are only going to get bigger in the future, but Brown’s ability to relate to the crowd and invest them in his show ensures that you’ll have a great time, whether you’re in the front row or up in the bleachers.
**** four stars out of five.
This review originally appeared on theatreinlondon.ca