It can be so frustrating, reviewing magic shows. The very best thing about this one – the thing which utterly fooled and confounded me, the thing which made me gasp with delight – is the one thing I absolutely mustn't reveal. But I can safely tell you that Trickorice Allsorts is one of the most outright-enjoyable magic shows I've seen in years: packed to bursting with high-quality illusions, and topped up by unforced comic banter.
The joy of the show lies in the rapport between the two performers, which carries over seamlessly to their relationship with their crowd. Their double-act contains its fair share of tightly-synchronised dialogue, but there's comedy rivalry on show as well – never more so than in the spirited finale, which delivers a hilarious twist on one of the most hackneyed stunts in the magician's canon. It's all but guaranteed to send you out with a smile on your face, and a burst of energy to carry you through the rest of the day.
The magic is as varied at the title suggests: there's a card trick, some mind-reading, and a few illusions which defy easy categorisation. Most of the tricks are multi-layered – you may think you know where some of them are going, but you'll be surprised when they head off in novel and unexpected directions. Far from presenting a series of isolated flourishes, Griffin and Jones work the magic into subtle and amusing narratives; my favourite, I think, is the one which combines two or three separate tricks into a parody of a church-hall tombola.
It's not quite suitable for kids – and I could have lived without an isolated smutty visual gag at the very beginning – but the duo's easy-going style will win them friends across the whole gamut of Fringe-goers. They are kind and considerate with the volunteers they get up on stage, and on the day I attended dealt well with a moment of linguistic confusion, turning it into a shared joke rather than an embarrassment.
It's such a shame, then, that they introduce one trick with an ill-judged story involving a particularly gruesome form of suicide pact. Guys, please! Just don't go there. The harm done by sensationalising suicide is well-documented, and it's obvious how distressing this could be for anyone in the audience whose lives have been touched by similar tragedy. In any case, there's just no need for such real-world darkness in an upbeat magic show – the (genuinely perplexing) stunt they are building up to would seem every bit as perilous if they approached it in a different way.
That one unforced error aside, this is the perfect Fringe magic show: high-energy, high-quality and above all, entertaining. They say they're experimenting with new material, and they warn us there's a chance that one or two things might go awry. But the show I attended went perfectly to plan… and you should plan to catch it too, a heart-lifting treat for the final days of the Fringe.