Updated: Oct 11
With many artists now performing online, it is important to stand out and make the medium your own.
Fringe theatre magician Dave Alnwick is used to connecting with his audience like most, face to face. A regular performer at the Edinburgh Fringe, he has sold out shows for the last 10 years. Successfully completing many live performances that include his shows - "Literally the Best Magician", "Good Morning Magic" and "Actual Magic".
The challenge for Dave using Zoom is how he can perform online for public and private bookings, but create and retain an experience that still brings everyone together like during a standard theatre show.
Inspired by Greek myth, Ethereal Magic explores new ways to achieve the impossible – with only a few household props, the magic will happen in your own home!
I was lucky to get invited to a special preview performance of the new show “Ethereal” which has been picked up by Nottingham Theatre Royal. At time of writing, dates have been released to book tickets for the 13th and 14th of February. I expect more will follow.
The preview show that I attended was on Friday the 29th of January 21 at 1930.
While researching Dave and watching some of his videos online, he came across as energetic and a slightly cheeky performer who is good humoured. I was smiling and looking forward to the review show as the promotional information and social media about Dave looked good.
In plenty of time I received an email with joining instructions. Clear directions to have certain items at hand to join in with the show. Paper, scissors and a pack of cards. The email also clearly detailed how audience management would work with muting screens and arriving early in the lobby.
On the night, I logged in with plenty of time to spare. As a special preview show, there was a good turn out. About 43 screens joined for the performance with an estimate of about 60 to perhaps 70 audience members.
The show is good natured family entertainment and marketed for those 8+.
The management of the audience was excellent. An important part of any Zoom show is making sure audiences are muted and only invited to speak, eliminating any additional noise. The show intro by Dave clearly explained how the show would run and all were encouraged to turn on their cameras. Everyone was also encouraged to use "speaker view" in Zoom. This worked really well and meant you get a small view of other audience members, your screen with Dave and then any additional audience member(s) who were on spotlight.
The quality of the streaming video was generally excellent with high quality video of Dave. No issues on the technology front and the show was supported by a tech support if required.
The show content is mainly card magic and mentalism. Interaction was encouraged throughout the show with some lucky audience members invited to join in with certain routines. However, opportunities arose for all to join in regularly throughout the show with the recommended props to have at hand. Dave’s narration and instruction were always clear.
Dave came across well and appeared to be enjoying himself. Full of enthusiasm, he connects well with the audience. It is apparent that a lot of thought has gone into the show. Well planned and scripted which was all perfectly delivered. A unique show to view that keeps your interest and includes an intermission. Show length is billed at 1 hour 20 minutes.
I walked away feeling that I had seen something new. Something different. An enjoyable experience with Dave just doing his own thing.
When watching magic, you don’t always get that feeling. Let’s just say, certain material is currently being performed by many artists on Zoom that is all the same. Fine if you put your own spin on it to keep things fresh, but many don’t.
For anyone wanting Dave to bring some magic into their lives, you need to book this show. Thank you Dave and your team for a very enjoyable show. Yet another artist that I now hope to see perform live one day once things start returning to normal.
For those wanting to know more about Dave and his services, visit his website here. All the links are below. He has an excellent Etsy store with quite a lot of digital content available of effects and his previous shows to buy and watch.
To book to see the "Ethereal" show, tickets can be purchased here. Tickets are limited to 75 screens per show so you might want to be quick booking. He is also available for private Zoom bookings.