David Alnwick’s Nightmare Magic
Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth
12th – 29th Aug, 2021
With fewer people at the Fringe than usual 2021 will never the less be another triumph for the Edinburgh scene. The Old town is in the well – known part of the cities underground city. We had a little taste of this at the Banshee Labyrinth down Niddrie Street; the rain was now off for the rest of the day, it was evening when we took our place at David Almanac’s Nightmare magic.
In a chamber the sold out show had black bricks for a stage, a huge fire place (not in use). I wandered what function it would have served. Then the charmingly confident David began his story about magic and circumstance. Classed as theatre his performance had excitement in a thrilling environment.
A book had come to be in his possession that was coded. Having come from University the codes were like crosswords to David which he and his mates could play with. He announced that the book had been decoded, putting a fair sized wooden box on a chair central stage. Like a magician he would rummage through the box all with an air of character of something other worldly which he enjoyed.
As in the classic magic show he took members of the audience on stage and played about with Tarot cards. He pulled of some undeniable magic tricks where the audience gasped and laughed. My first live day at the fringe was complete and all I wanted to do was settle in, while also praying that he didn’t pick me (you know the feeling).
It was the details around it that really helped move things along as we entered into the darkened world he was musing on. There was a feeling things could get crazy but thankfully he was more composed than wild. It came across as a great performance of a script but his idiom set it apart, he had come up with something unique for now. Blending media to his will so as to create the structures of showmanship and tall standing mysteriously laid out programme for us to follow.
I felt things could get good for this young fellow, his willingness combined with his findings were all laid bare without losing his bearings. He left us with a musing of what is this or how about that. Well thrown together from a man in a smart black suit who maybe knows more than we think.