Review: The Colour Ham, Voodoo Rooms

The Colour Ham magic Festival
The Colour Ham magic Festival
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Even though there are still a few weeks to go until the Fringe starts, there was a distinct Fringe feel to The Colour Ham’s show at the Voodoo Rooms last night.


Set in a dark, low-lit room? Check. Running time just over an hour? Check. Slightly rushed performance from a production still ironing out the creases? Check.

Hosted by three talented young men — comedian Gavin Oattes, magician Kevin McMahon, and mentalist Colin McLeod — this amalgamation of genres (complete with hard-rock soundtrack) is designed to give audiences an entertainment package that ticks all the boxes. Divided into sketches, it’s not easy, to review the trio’s 75-minute act without giving too much of the game away.

Of the three, Oattes’ surreal brand of humour is, arguably, the show’s strongest point. His Gaelic TV presenter character sent some genuine belly-laughs rippling through the audience, whereas McMahon’s ‘Blind Date’, on the other hand, gave the audience a chance to interact. Indeed, interaction is a key component to the performance’s success. McLeod’s hypnotic effects on one particular chap, for instance, seemed suspiciously staged. However, he cleverly got the better of his audience when his “super” revelation — during a sketch most thought he’d failed at —literally came bursting from his chest.

With individual opportunities to shine, then, it’s the sections where all three team up together that aren’t entirely convincing. As a duo, Oattes and McLeod have all the attributes to suggest they’d be a great double-act. And while McMahon deserves a magic show in his own right; without him, this show would be altogether tighter, smoother and more rewarding.

If you’re planning on going along, make sure you get down the front otherwise you won’t get the full benefit. Oh, and don’t blink.