AN award-winning Kendal magician has left audiences and critics spellbound with his unique debut show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Chris Cook has spent the past fortnight at the world’s largest arts festival playing to a full house every night, with punters, unable to get seats, standing in the aisles to watch.

The 24-year-old, believed to be the youngest magician on the bill at the Fringe, has received a four-star write-up from arts reviewer Broadway Baby.

He also earned a thumbs-up from celebrity audience member and Paralympic Champion Hannah Cockroft, who described his performance as ‘incredible’.


Chris has been performing for almost a decade, having done his first gig at 15, and can be seen regularly at weddings, events, open mic nights and street performances around the North West.

Charlatan is his first show at the Fringe, and is described as ‘a tender tale of bittersweet love, combining trickery and storytelling’ which ‘explores the strange similarities between love and magic’.

“I wanted to do something a bit different to the usual trick-joke-trick-joke format I’ve seen in other magic shows,” Chris explained.

“It’s a story about a girl I used to go out with – the audience gets some introduction to who she is and then we go on a journey together through the relationship and break-up.

“There’s a lot of humour and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but I think it’s also a very poignant show.”

Chris said he began his magic career as ‘a small-time con-man’ doing tricks on his friends at the pub, before moving onto to more ‘legitimate’ walk-around magic at weddings, hotels and restaurants.

Although still based in Kendal, his street performing takes him all over the country and, occasionally, abroad.

In 2009 he travelled to New York to teach magic to children.

Chris said his word-of-mouth success at the Fringe had surpassed his expectations and would hopefully lead to a tour of the show.

“I’d like to put on a show locally because I have a lot of fans in the South Lakes area and I want them to have a chance to see it,” he said.

‘‘Charlatan’ is on at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh until August 24.

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