Theatre review: Linking Rings
Theatre review: Linking Rings

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Linking Rings, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield ★★★ Magician and comic Paul Zenon says he’s writing a play about Harry Houdini and Jim Collins, the Englishman who became his on-stage assistant and technical right-hand man. This, however, is not that play; it’s a conversational one-man show about his own …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Linking Rings, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield

★★★

Magician and comic Paul Zenon says he’s writing a play about Harry Houdini and Jim Collins, the Englishman who became his on-stage assistant and technical right-hand man. This, however, is not that play; it’s a conversational one-man show about his own love affair with magic, spliced with snatches of research on Collins/Houdini.

We learn how Zenon picked up a summer job in his teens at a magic shop in Blackpool called The House of Secrets, and how its proprietor Bill Thompson became his friend and mentor. As Zenon’s career blossomed, Thompson (like Collins with Houdini) continued to research tricks and build props for him until his death in 2012.

Zenon is an engaging talker, funny and self-deprecating, never falsely modest. Despite warning that this is not a magic show, he does drop in a few tricks with typical nonchalance. It’s more of a conversation than a piece of theatre, but if the excerpt he gives us is anything to go by he’s a good writer, and he knows his subject inside out. I hope he finishes his play in time for next year’s Fringe.

Le Monde (Venue 47) until 31 August / listings

Published in The Scotsman on 13 August 2015

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