MAGICIAN and comedian, Pete Firman, nearly a regular at Taunton’s Tacchi Morris Arts Centre, is returning next year with his latest tour – Pete Firman and The Amazing TBC.

Performing magic is something Pete fell in love with when he was young.

He said: “I’ve never really had a proper job. I had a magic set as a kid and it started as a hobby. I used to go to bars and do tricks and places would employ me to entertain for a bit.

“In the end, I decided to take the magic to comedy clubs, did my first open mic and caught the bug.”

Pete has performed both live on stage and as part of many TV shows including ITV’s Tonight at the London Palladium, The Next Great Magician, Tommy Cooper Forever, BBC One’s Let’s Sing & Dance for Comic Relief and so on.

However, Pete admitted that magic is always better live.

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He said: “I like a live performance and I have been lucky enough to do some TV work – both feed into one another, but they are both different. Performing on stage is a different way of working, you are performing to a large audience.

“On TV, essentially, you are only performing to people at home and the performance needs to be a lot smaller. Although magic is better live – on TV, people don’t always believe the trick, but when it’s live, it is there in front of them.

“There is one trick which is great. I make a cupcake in an audience members shoe. I put in the milk, eggs and so on and then I hold a flame under the shoe – there is a flame and out of the shoe comes a cupcake but the shoe itself is totally fine.”

During his tours, Pete intertwines both magic and comedy. There are a lot of magicians he has taken inspiration from – Tommy Cooper for example – who mixed both.

Pete explained: “Both comedy and magic marry up well. A joke is similar to a magic trick, there is an element of surprise to both the punchline or the end of a trick.

“And I think audiences like it when a magician is self-deprecating.

“I try to keep the magic fairly light hearted. I want to astonish but also to make the audience laugh.”

As soon as inspiration strikes, Pete will write down any ideas – however crazy or unachievable - in either his notebook or the notes app on his phone. And then, when it comes to writing a new show, he will go back to his notes and expand on his ideas.

Writing the show, fine tuning it and practising the tricks is how Pete creates new material for every show. And the TBC tour is no different – except this time, there is a special guest involved.

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He said: “I started performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007 and have done about 12 shows there. And luckily now I have accumulated a loyal audience and have repeat business. I really enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe, it was a big part of the evolution of the TBC tour too.

“Every performance a special guest will join me who doesn’t do magic – it will be an invited guest, someone well-known or not well known – that the audience won’t know about until the night. This means you get to see a real reaction from the guest, and the audience will see how they deal with the tricks.

“I performed the show in Edinburgh with guests and it went well, but unexpected things did happen – you never really known how people will react. Some people are very over-the-top and embrace the idea of being a magician and others are more reserved.

“So, I am excited to take it out on the road now, it will be nice to perform in different venues. The tricks with the guests will stay the same but the banter will change of course.”

For the first half of the show, Pete will perform his usual tricks and for the second half, a special guest will join him – a surprise until the night.

Pete added: “I have performed in Taunton several times – at least three I think. It is always great fun, the people at the Tacchi Morris are really nice and I am looking forward to seeing them again. And I have always had sell-out audiences there too.”

Pete Firman will be at the Tacchi Morris Arts Centre in Taunton on March 27, 2020. To book visit