Many of us had birthday plans or other celebrations spoiled due to Covid-19 lockdowns or restrictions. Enter The Big Birthday Show with Magic Gareth, which comes to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival live this year. This child-friendly, interactive show celebrates those missed special occasions with colourful magic tricks, balloons, games and a whole lot of fun!
Great effort has been put in to recreate the party atmosphere whilst implementing Covid safety measures. The set-up is a cabaret style, with the audience sitting at tables with their household/ bubble. To properly get everyone in the mood, the tables are complete with party hats for the adults as well as the children. Overall the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, particularly great for younger viewers who may have less experience of sitting in a typical, formal theatre.
The fairly straightforward structure of The Big Birthday Show with Magic Gareth includes the usual party elements but with a magical twist, including: ‘food’, ‘drink’, a unique and Covid-safe adaptation of ‘Pass the Parcel’, the ‘biggest balloon in the world’, and finishing with a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. The magic tricks are well disguised to seem simple but are likely far from it, and bound to keep the children (and adults) mesmerised.
Magic Gareth’s energy is infectious, and sustained from beginning to end. His outgoing persona is obviously appealing; he has the audience hooked from the moment he steps onto the stage, not an easy feat with young viewers. One potential challenge of performing a child-centred interactive show is the element of unpredictability, but he displays admirable versatility by adapting his jokes and delivery to suit the specific audience members.
The Big Birthday Show with Magic Gareth definitely achieves its goal to have one big party… and of course no party is complete without party bags, which are handed out to the children at the end. Aimed at age 5 plus, this family-friendly show is 40 minutes of laughter and fun!
The Big Birthday Show with Magic Gareth is at Pleasance Courtyard until 22nd August.