Assembly Hall - Christ's College, Christchurch

11/01/2019 - 20/01/2019

World Buskers Festival 2019 | BREAD & CIRCUS

Production Details


The stand out star of NBC’s America’s Got Talent and Penn & Teller: Fool Us

Think Larry David in a dragon suit performing jaw-dropping magic tricks and you’re on the right track.

With over 100 million online views, sold out shows across the US and Canada and a residency at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip now extended throughout 2018, Piff the Magic Dragon has proved he’s here to stay.

Joined by Mr Piffles, The World’s Only Magic Performing Chihuahua™, the dynamic duo have performed all over the world in iconic venues such as Radio City Music Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, the O2, London and Sydney Opera house. He was the opening act for Mumford & Sons on their 17 date UK tour and graces the cover of their Grammy award winning album “Babel”.

Call him unique, call him an icon, whatever you call him, Piff will leave you asking …  

Assembly Hall – Christ’s College
11 – 20 Jan 2019

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Theatre , Magic/Illusion ,

1 hr

Sheer brilliance!

Review by Tony Ryan 15th Jan 2019

Piff the Magic Dragon is one of this year’s World Buskers Festival headline acts, and deservedly so.  

As I said of his contribution to Sunday night’s Gala in the Theatre Royal, Piff’s (John van der Put) style of comedy is nonchalant, almost to the point of indifference. The persona he adopts, dressed in a stereotypical party-like dragon costume, has a sort of laid-back lethargy that’s remarkably effective and funny, especially given the liveliness of the actual material.

All of the material that we saw in the Gala is once again present here tonight but, with different audience ‘volunteers’, along with a slightly more intimate setting and Piff’s remarkable ability to spin genuine comedy from the responses of his volunteers and other audience reactions, it all seems even funnier than it was the first time around.

The main volunteer victims (tonight Mark and Georgette) are so effective and willing that one can’t help having a suspicion that … well, maybe not! But Zara, Seb, Amy, Jessie and others are also superbly effective in assisting Piff with his act, the foundation of which is magic tricks.  

But the magic tricks are very much secondary to the comedy and style of this very original act. Although Piff has a routine of script and gags that is clearly carefully rehearsed and structured, the off-the-cuff wit and repartee is at the heart of his skill and talent. He manages to turn anything into comedy, especially things that are peculiarly New Zealand.

On Sunday night it’s the idea of a bank and a bookshop being a single entity. Tonight it’s jandals as a Christmas present – “What?” he petulantly asks Georgette; “What are jandals?” But that’s not the end! Not only does the gag develop in an hilarious manner, it recurs and even, finally, becomes the essence of one of Piff’s most baffling magic tricks. I wonder what the next night’s audience will get? Sheer brilliance!

The tricks themselves, often with playing cards, are pretty astonishing – I’m not even going to try to fathom how they’re possible – and all wrapped in an extraordinarily inventive and superbly presented act.

Piff the Magic Dragon is another must-see show in a festival that seems to be choc-full of highlights.


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