In front of me, an excited row of eight to ten year olds are swapping stories about the last time they saw the special blend of circus tricks and comic improvisation that Martin Mor presents in his family shows. Its an auspicious start, and one that is borne out by the talent and chutzpah of this boldy bearded Northern Irish entertainer when he appears.
Smartly dressed in earthy-toned plaids—waistcoat and plus-fours—he boldy engages audience members young and old with "science and stuff". It's easy to overlook just how strong his juggling and balance skills are because we're having so much fun. Nearly 8 foot of it, to be precise. We have a measuring system. All Mor's tricks require assistance from audience volunteers – and there are no shortage of hands shooting up when he as much as raises an eyebrow in our direction. Mor knows his audience inside out, working a perfect level of teasing and bigging up members of the crowd.
He spins balls on sticks, tosses wooden blocks—known in the trade as cigar boxes—and reduces a cascade of five coloured balls down to zero as his current young helper is directed to catch them one by one into a large net. Twinkly-eyed charisma is amplified in the small indoor space, and a novel twist on the classic tablecloth trick is as funny as the recurring interaction with audience snacks.
String Theory includes new material for those who had had the pleasure of seeing Mor's shows before, but keeps all of the familiar rib-tickling charm.