Name: Ben Hart
Name of Edinburgh show: The Nutshell
Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot, The Dining Room
Performance time: 8.15pm
Show length: 60 mins
Ticket price: £7.00 to £12.50
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I perform and invent magic tricks and special effects. I love coming to Edinburgh each year with a new solo show and when I’m not performing alone I perform as part of the international touring show “Impossible”. When I’m not performing I work behind the scenes directing magicians and incorporating magic into plays and tv shows.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
My new show “The Nutshell” is about the importance of the small things in life – how your “fate” can be swayed by seemingly insignificant choices. I also talk about nature, murder, statistics and hallucination – all told through brand new magic tricks invented specifically for the show.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I started working on the show in September 2017 – immediately after the last Fringe. The idea for its ending has been in my mind for years but I was waiting for the right time to explore it. I think this show is particularly relevant in a world where we never stop to take notice of the small things.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
My advice is always to ask staff in coffee shops etc about what shows they’re hearing buzz about. It’s those unbiased voices that give the best recommendations. And if you’re a performer… be nice to staff in coffee shops! 😉
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I once involved an audience participant in a trick who I needed for the ending of the show. When I got to the end I noticed they had left, meaning I couldn’t end the show. They had left a note on their chair thanking me for the show and saying they had to dash to another show…
You never know what will happen in a magic show! I once hypnotised someone and they slumped off their chair and curled into a little ball on the stage and didn’t seem to want to get up!
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
I think that Penn and Teller are still making the most interesting work in magic. They are not afraid to have an opinion about the world and they are constantly making new material which is very exciting – you never know what they will do next.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I’m not superstitious in any way, so I don’t have any rituals – I’m usually preparing my tools and props until the very last moment so I suppose that’s ritualistic?
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
I haven’t had a chance to look at the programme yet but I’ve heard the Miss Behave’s gameshow is coming to The Gilded Balloon and that’s about as much fun as anyone can have in a theatre.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
It’s a show of entirely new material, so will be a rewarding watch for magic fans and for those who don’t like magic, it might be worth a go because my style is quite different. The show is rooted in storytelling and is funny, memorable and will hopefully affect the audience long after the show is over…
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