Circus Bar 17b Allen Street, Wellington

04/03/2020 - 07/03/2020

NZ Fringe Festival 2020

Production Details

Magnus Steele is an improvised, interactive crime–thriller created by ‘Golden Boy of Wellington Improv’, Austin Harrison. Infamous private eye Magnus Steele investigates the crime of the century through interrogations, jazz, and beat poetry, but here’s the catch: all the victims, suspects, and witnesses are played by YOU! Come prepared for hilarity and bad accents, and to be a part of the show!

“…a whimsical stand out character act… His performance is tongue in cheek and even more endearing when he breaks character.” – Lizzie Murray, Art Murmurs (Study Link Presents, NZ Fringe 2019)

“The way [Austin] flicks in and out of the fourth wall is masterful.” – Audience Feedback (Late Night Knife Fight)

Circus Bar, 17b Allen Street, Te Aro
Wednesday 04 – Saturday 07 March 2020
Price General Admission $10.00 Fringe Addict $7.00
Book Now 

Wheelchair access available

Theatre ,

50 mins

Most intriguing

Review by Margaret Austin 05th Mar 2020

We’re not fooled into attending this performance – the promotional material makes no secret of its improvisational nature. I’m pleased to be part of a full house at the Circus Bar for Austin Harrison alias ‘Magnus Steele’, Private Eye. New York Private Eye, what’s more. 

Steele, appropriately full length coated and hatted, is here to investigate the crime of the century. That it turns out to be stolen tic tacs by someone who has left behind a whiff of baked beans is not his fault – it’s ours, as all worthwhile improvisers who involve the audience will know.  

Hardly the mooted crime of the century, but Harrison makes the best of it. “You get the show you ask for,” he quips. We get various clues, suspects and unlikely scenarios. Plus some lively input from a pair who team up to aid our private eye.

Harrison demonstrates plenty of presence of mind – the first requirement of the improviser. Matched with a volunteer suspect who’s miles taller, he uses the height difference to good effect. It’s a nice touch that this guy turns out to be the denounced criminal – an old pal from cop college into the bargain.

Magnus Steele offers us a most intriguing slice of old New York, complete with his own brand of beat poetry. A slightly stronger accent would enhance his performance. He’s ably accompanied by jazzman Ben Kelly.

Hint: an empty chair has to be sat on.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council