Review- Piff the Magic Dragon- Pleasance Dome
There are two things that really work for Piff during his show “Jurassic Bark’. The first thing is his deadpan face he maintains throughout the entire show, despite being clad in a child’s dragon outfit. The second is his chihuahua, Mr. Piffles.
Oh, Mr. Piffles. It is actually Mr. Piffles that every person in the audience has come to see. And why not? Mr. Piffles has two important roles. He helps with the banter, as seen in gems like this:
(Mr. Piffles barks)
Piff: What’s that, Mr. Piffles? Someone’s fallen down a mineshaft?
(Mr. Piffles barks again)
Piff: Well f*** ‘em. We’ve got a show to do.
Piffles is also an integral part of many of the tricks as well. The best involved the Straightjacket of Doom, in which Mr. Piffles is locked into a tiny straightjacket and has to get out in a Houdini tribute. In itself, very funny. But not as funny as the assistant who stands there with a massive baseball bat, ready to beat Mr. Piffles to death if he doesn’t escape in under a minute.
You’re so charmed and intrigued by the dog, that it takes awhile to remember that Piff is actually a really good magician. And this is despite nearly being de-railed by a rather stupid audience member he chose to be one of the volunteers for the night. The audience’s favourite involved him guessing the cards simultaneously held by around 15 audience members. Another impressive one involved opening a can of dog food and revealing a volunteer’s chosen card signed in her handwriting.
The audience do love him, and I can’t blame them. He is really funny. My only complaint about seeing him- and I hate having one- is that his act hasn’t essentially changed or evolved that much in the last couple of years. A definitely reliable entertainer, and highly recommended, but not one you’ll need to see again.
You can see his showreel on his website: http://www.piffthemagicdragon.com/
Review- Gareth Morinan- Underbelly
Gareth Morinan’s a nerdy clown who, as an ex-government analyst, really enjoys a spot of data-sampling.
‘Truth Doodler’ is more than a show. It is a manic-paced multimedia extravaganza, packed with word play, animation, little sketches, a game show, and a variety of comedy characters.
I was a bit reluctant at first. He starts the show as one of these characters and the accent he used can only be described as a combination of every single accent from Hogan’s Heroes. I thought ‘uh oh’ and was worried about what I was in for. But there was no need to worry. There was SO MUCH to enjoy. The short-people-jokes mind map was brilliant (the rebuttals mind map was even better). The Datartainer (who was a data-sampling entertainer teaching the audience how to process facts) was great too.
Morinan’s particular strength centres on his whimsical animated characters including Homophobic Duck and Hypocrisy Haddock, and my personal favourite, a centipedophile (which everyone found hilarious except the parents of the one child in the audience). Don’t worry, Morinan handled the child well. Wait, that didn’t come out right.
The show is not so surreal that people won’t get it. But I think to enjoy it you have to channel your inner nerd throughout. It is definitely a show for a niche market. I’m just glad I’m in that niche.
Go and see him if you like crazy animated characters. Or data analysis.
His website has a short preview of the show if you are interested: http://www.gmorinan.com/