After a bold entrance, Chris Dugdale uses his magic to stun and mesmerise the crowd, proving he is that one step quicker and more in tune than the rest of us with this show that incorporates audience participation, a subtle introduction to how the tricks are performed and a full list of information on how to get kicked out of any casino in Las Vegas. A dab hand at card and observational tricks, Dugdale continuously shocks the audience in this sold out show, converting even the most cynical punter.

Chris Dugdale became the youngest member of the world renowned Magic Circle at the age of 18 and successfully levitated a presenter on BBC’s Blue Peter.  Not long afterwards he was promoted to the highest honour possible, becoming an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle.  The day he graduated from Leicester University, armed with a relevant degree in Psychology, he became a full-time magician. Within a few years he was working for Lance Burton in Las Vegas, performing close up magic and helping create his magical product empire. He is now world-renowned in his field and thus it was a pleasure to witness him up close in a small venue within Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on George St.

He kicks off his show with an observation test, informing us that unlike many other magicians, he is happy to teach and introduce the audience to these stunners of his. It soon becomes obvious as to why he is a master card trick magician, as his astute observational skills and ability to read people (psychology degree lest not forget) see him through another hour wherein he defies the rules of magic and reminds me what it is to be in a magic show (I think I was eight the last time I sat through one of these and it might have even been Bill Duncan).

It never fails to confuse, baffle and captivate me, how they manage to pull this stuff off. One which is almost unbelievable is when he is waving a Rubix cube in the air and it so transpires that by the end of this waving movement all sides are the same colour. I am forever looking for something erroneous about this show but it fails to present itself (about the only thing this show fails to present). Coin tricks, card tricks, book tricks, he can do them all, revealing that the binary system he was taught at university has been very useful in this Magic Circle world he inhabits now.

Worth going?
Most certainly

Chris Dugdale’s Up Close! runs until 27th August at the Assembly Rooms, 19:10.