FRINGE REVIEW – I Hate Children Children’s Show, Bad Magician


Even before you enter the show, the Bad Magician (also known as Paul Nathan) is outside, welcoming you to his lair, whip in hand.  He greets his audience with high fives, and you get the feeling that he’s really glad to have you there.  His assistant, John, plays electric guitar throughout, and provides an edgy background to the tricks at hand.

For all the children in the audience, there’s a promise, which is fulfilled in due course, to get everyone up on stage to help with some of the magic tricks – but if you don’t want to go, that’s ok too.

The Bad Magician says that he’s doing this show because he lost a bet, and the penalty was to do a children’s show in Edinburgh for a month.

Although the title suggests that he hates children, Paul is very good with them, and you suspect that he’s just a bit to kind and humorous to really live up to the title of the show.  Of our audience, only a couple of kids didn’t want to be in the spotlight, and all who did participate were photographed for Paul’s ‘wall of fame’ on his website.

The magic tricks are superbly executed, and the children entranced throughout, even the most sceptical who know how the tricks work are happy to see them carried out with such wit and vigour.

Our junior reviewers participated in a card trick and a colouring book trick and enjoyed the thrill of being on stage.

The children in the audience ranged from around 5 – 14 and this seemed exactly fitting for the fun on offer, although recommended age range in the programme is “suitable for 8+”.

For adults who want to see more, there’s an adult show too: Devil in The Deck (

Added comments by Helen (13): “Really funny and fun for all ages.  Favourite trick was the ribbon round the neck trick – how do they do that?”

Added comments by Alex (9):  “I liked it a lot and it was very good because the man tried to get every child who was there up on stage.  The people who didn’t want to be on weren’t forced, which was very nice of him.  My favourite trick was when he did the disappearing cloth trick – I couldn’t see how it was done.  I bought some magic cards from him afterwards, so I can show you a trick – would you like to see?”

Dates: 8 – 29 August @ 12:30 Zoo Southside

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