Pifftacular 2: Get Rich or Die Trying

FRINGE WORLD: Armed only with astounding magical skills, a penchant for princesses and Mr Piffles, the World’s First Levitating Chihuahua™, can Piff become the greatest magic performing dragon of all time?
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The atmosphere in the queue on Sunday night for Perth’s Pearl Spiegeltent was quietly expectant, so the low-key start to Piff! The Magic Dragon’s new show didn’t seem to bode well for what was billed as a hilarious evening of deadpan humour and remarkable magic tricks. But Piff, younger brother to…. umm…. Steve… is so hilariously funny that by the end of the evening, the crowd rushed out and surrounded the magician to congratulate him.

Pifftacular 2: Get Rich or Die Trying starts out with the deep and smooth tones of a announcer providing a deadpan introduction to Piff, the recently ‘clean’ green magician (John van der Put, dressed in a dragon costume).

Piff’s foray into bitter ex-wife territory (illustrated through the use of plastic toys) and a rundown of costs for each jokes, coupled with his sourpuss, Scrooge-like approach and a running commentary about whether God is watching or not, convincingly won this audience over.

The only moment of doubt seemed to occur as the second invited guest on stage (watch out, attractive young women!) not only contributed a $50 note to a trick but her whole wallet, thanks to her keen husband. You could feel the tension in the tent when she seemed to be seriously losing her investment, and to me, the audience’s gasps of amazement should surely have been louder at the successful conclusion of this very clever trick.

Not being an expert in sleight of hand card tricks and disappearing objects, I’m not quite sure how to ‘rate’ the magical tricks, but poking fun at standard magic tricks with mind-reading jokes, inverting the sawing in half of women, and finger puppets that look like particular body parts coupled with funny bunny tricks, very much made the conjuring tradition relevant in Piff’s green hands.

The combination of different ideas is the key idea to successful comedy, and Piff is spectacular at this – cutie rabbits mixed in with a penguin, his jokes about white dragons, and the ‘wrap’ which you may miss if you don’t listen closely; and of course Mr Piffles (a somewhat tentative performance by Piff’s pet Chihuahua; tentative that is until the magnificent, mind blowing end). Then there’s the extraordinary abilities of Piff’s mind-reading fish, which was then summarily flushed down the loo!

If there’s one show that is genuinely side-splittingly funny and lives up to its hype this Fringe World season, it’s Pifftacular 2: Get Rich or Die Trying – so go see it!

Piff! The Magic Dragon in Pifftacular 2: Get Rich or Die Trying

Fringe World February 18 – 22

For more details see the festival’s Arts Hub event listing.

What the Other Critics said

The West Australian: “Van der Put’s cute reptilian persona with its dancing eyebrows, comical glances, put downs, stinginess and attempts to pick up women made for an easy hour of light entertainment.”

Mariyon Slany
About the Author
Mariyon Slany runs her own communications and art consultancy. Her formal qualifications in Visual Arts, Literature and Communications combine well with her experience in media and her previous work as WA’s Artbank Consultant for her current position as Public Art Consultant.