Canadian comedy extravaganza Just For Laughs has opened its temporary-built doors in Russel Square, London. The Comedy festival is competing for attention and love of Londoners along with Ealing and Greenwich Comedy Festival, happening this month. Piff The Magic Dragon, who debuted on America Got Talent, was one of my personal favourites. His magic show, spiced with tongue-in-cheek, straight-faced jokes, was a memorable highlight of the evening; not least thanks to his adorable assistant Chihuahua Mr. Piffles. I’m still trying to crack the secret of his card trick – the good old trick with Piff’s twist when a pre-chosen card ends up in a can of dog food.
Yet another magical trick was performed by Fay Presto, whose stage character has Ab Fab feel about her. Probably because she managed to materialise a bottle of Champagne out of three silk scarfs – I wish I knew how to do that!
Indeed, the show was full of magicians. Mentalist Alex McAleer demonstrated some excellent skills. If you don’t quite remember your first kiss, Alex will sure help you to remember. Being a big fan of Derren Brown, I would love to see what else is in Alex’s box of tricks.
Young & Strange performed yet another illusion. In comparison to other performances – with champagne and pink feathers – this one was on a budget. As illusionists admitted themselves, they got hooked into illusionism from a young age and – having zero budget – they had to be inventive with their toolkit. With such build up, it came almost as no surprise that chubby Richard Young had to climb into a plain cardboard box, just for it to be repeatedly skewed by Strange. Again, old tricks but the wooden spears were so many and they flung in with such speed that, considering Young’s complexity, at one point I got worried. These two are a living proof that practice makes perfect.
Enough said about illusionists, Just For Laughs comedy festival has a few good comedians on the list too. Opened by Keith Farnan, an Irish man cracking jokes on the public, the show continued with good non-PC laugh from Papa CJ. And who else if not him – Indian comedian is about the only one who is allowed to joke about all-prevailing Indian call centres and popadums. I think we can all benefit from good old jokes without the ridiculous fear of being labelled ‘racists’.
For their press day show Just For Laughs have picked a great selection of performers. Shame the performance was so short. You can see the show until 24th July 2016 in Russel Square. Don’t forget to grab their delish street food from one of the tents!