Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Pete Firman

Pete Firman has been entertaining audiences for over a decade now with his excellently chirpy brand of comedy magic. I can remember him on Five’s Monkey Magic yonks ago and since then the Middlesbrough magician has become a fixture on the Fringe and TV, almost as famous for his cheesy patter as he is for his brilliant tricks. Basically he makes things appear and disappear before your very eyes in amazing, mindblowing ways and he does it with such friendly aplomb that everyone loves him. While you might go away from a Derren Brown show thinking Brown should be burnt at the stake you are more likely to leave a Firman show wishing that he was your big brother. You can see him on ITV1's latest TV magic show The Next Great Magician but even better catch him in the flesh. He is doing a greatest hits show, Trix, at Soho Theatre from November 22 - 26. Tickets here.



1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)?

Make sure the rabbit and doves are stuffed down my trousers and the tiger is in the secret compartment.

2. What irritates you?

Travelling with props and equipment. 

Most of my best mates are stand-ups and if you are just telling jokes you can arrive at the venue 15 minute before you go on stage and be ready in plenty of time. I foolishly made the decision years ago to do magic tricks, therefore I am usually at a venue in the early afternoon on a show day unloading and setting up. THEN at the end of the show I have to stay for another hour to pack away. Annoying.

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

I was once doing a trick and I had a lady up on stage and I asked her when her baby was due. She wasn't pregnant. If there hadn't been so many witnesses, today I would be dead.

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

See above.

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

How long it takes you to actually figure out what you are doing. When I first started doing clubs I thought I'd nailed it straight away. When gigs didn't go well in the early days I sometimes blamed the audience. Looking back I recognise glaringly obvious mistakes, but I can only see them because of the thousands of shows. There is so much more going on when you are up there than just telling jokes.

Interview continues here.

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