John van der Put is an award winning magician and comedian who performs under the stage name Piff The Magic Dragon. The character premiered at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Free Fringe, breaking records for highest takings in a single night and he is back in 2018 with his new show Piff The Magic Dragon and The Dog Who Knows.
As the audience gets seated there are video segments played that help to give a small teaser of the hour of comedy magic they’re about to witness. The deadpan style of comedy is very much on display on these videos and is consequently a good warmup for the audience. Whilst Piff may have come a long way since the Free Fringe this show is all glitz and glam from the get go, you can see the Vegas influences on him and his show right away. Thankfully he hasn’t lost any of his deadpan humour or sarcasm that oozes from his every utterance.
I quite often find with magic shows that I can get distracted trying to work out how the trick was done, this can lead me to miss some of what a show is really trying to be. I did not have this problem for Piff, I was completely lost in the comedy and magic combo and I was managing to enjoy the show instead of analyse it and who knew the eating of a banana could be so Hitchcockian. The only negative I have for the show is that it felt like a Vegas show, it felt a little bit out of place at the Fringe but it was overall an enjoyable hour of escapism with great tricks and comedy dripping with sarcasm.
★★★★ (and a half)