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Festival Review: Real Magic ***

Ashling Findlay-Carroll reviews 'a thought-provoking show as bizarre and comical as it is infuriating'.

Bright neon strip lights on stands encircle the performers and glare into the audience; the oppressive feeling that they create setting the tone of what is to come.

Three performers, three outfits, three chances to get it right before they swap roles, clothes, and words in a seemingly endless cycle, reminiscent of all the awful game shows you've ever seen. There is a famous quote: 'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.' And this starts to feel like some kind of madness as the performers grow ever more frustrated, angry and eventually hopeless in their plight to get it right.

As we watch it brings to mind many of the problems in our society: blindly repeating mistakes, hoping for change that's never coming and the cultural references dropped in throughout aid this commentary. It also had me pondering what is it to lose? To fail? To get it wrong and keep on trying? We are often told that we learn more from our failures than our successes? This piece makes us question, "Do we?"

It is a thought provoking show as bizarre and comical as it is infuriating, and at the end of this never-ending game show where no one ever wins, the three-strong cast look like they've been through the ringer, and we in the audience all feel like it.

Real Magic was part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Its run has ended.

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