Edinburgh Fringe: Craig Stephenson (Craig: Impossible) interview

Comedy, magic, a little bit of chocolate, and a lot of danger. Yorkshire magician Craig Stephenson is currently wowing Fringe audiences with his brand new show, Craig Impossible – a winning blend of laugh-out-loud comedy and mind-blowing magic. Don’t miss it. AAA caught up with Craig for a chat.

How has your Fringe been so far?

Superb. I love visiting Edinburgh, it’s such a fun and welcoming city. During the Fringe the energy levels about the place are extraordinary. As for my show in the Fringe, I’ve been really grateful for the great audience reactions to the material and can’t wait to show it to more people over the coming weeks.

Tell us about the show you’re in…

It’s a comedy magic show, which doesn’t take itself too seriously, although there are moments in the show that are genuinely edge-of-your seat tense/scary for the audience and it’s great to go on that journey with them. I started my life in magic as a card magician – working bars and clubs entertaining small crowds – and I believe in this show it maintains that audience rich involvement whilst going in a few unexpected directions to show how much fun magic can be.

How much work went in to preparing your show for the Fringe?

I wouldn’t even know where to start counting the hours, days and months of work that has gone into this show. I have wanted to bring a one-man magic show to Edinburgh for over two years now but wanted to only do so when it was ready and I was 100% happy with it, which I am. So yeah, two years, but building on a lifetime of practise (of course!)

What’s the audience reaction been like?

Brilliant. The show has received some really positive feedback from audiences young and old, and that makes all of the work going into it worth it.

When did you first get into magic?

I have always been interested in magic, from a very young age watching magicians like Paul Daniels, Wayne Dobson and Geoffrey Durham on television. I would insist at every birthday and Christmas to get a new magic set or pack of cards.

Was there a magician who inspired you growing up?

All magicians inspired me – I just wanted to perform. But there is one magician that constantly has provided a source of inspiration to me, and that is Andy Nyman.

Are there any other shows on this year’s you’d recommend?

Magic Strangers really impressed me. It’s essentially four dramatic stories acted out, but each involving some element of magic, and it was a really interesting way to demonstrate these classic tricks. But forget the magic, the acting was superb and I really found myself interested in the characters.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

The list just keeps growing and growing, so I’ve limited it to a Top 3 at the moment: Piffin’ Ain’t Easy, Murder She Didn’t Write and Mark Thomas: The Red Shed. So more magic, comedy and political satire – the mixture of shows in Edinburgh is what the Fringe is all about.

What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

I have one day off this year, which is next Sunday, and I want to explore as much of Edinburgh as possible. Have I mentioned how much I love this city?

Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

I do love my coffee, so Brew Lab is already firmly into my morning routine. As for other bars and restaurants, you’ll normally find me in any with an impressive whisky range. I’m also open to suggestions and already I’ve received tweets from people prompting me to try different restaurants and bars. I love these messages – and hopefully I’ll get some more.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

Comedy magic involving chocolate, mindreading and some Russian roulette danger!

Craig: Impossible, theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39), Aug 8-13, 15-20, 8.35pm, www.edfringe.com

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