From card tricks and mind reading to the gruesome ‘mice in a blender’ routine, 32-year-old Firman’s comic timing and witty banter seems to make any routine, well, magic.
“That unfakeable natural reaction of being absolutely dumbfounded, for me that’s as good as a laugh,” said the Middlesbrough magician, who has also become a familiar face on the stand-up circuit.
“First and foremost, I’m a magician but I just decided to take my act on the stand-up circuit.
“There is no magic circuit really but there are comedy clubs all over the country.
“But no-one has come out to see a magic show so you’ve got to make it as funny as possible.
“I get them onside with gags and jokes and stuff first, and then do some tricks.
“I would never come out on stage and say ‘Hi, I’m Pete and I’m a magician.’
“It’s like a spoon full of sugar which helps the medicine, or magic, go down.”
Magic acts have come a long way since the days of squirting flowers and rabbits in hats, thanks to the likes of more modern operators like Derren Brown and David Blaine.
But Firman said people’s fascination for the art has never changed.
“Magic has never gone away, it’s always been popular. It just morphs and changes.
“What’s interesting, is having done my third or fourth tour, when I meet people after the show there are younger people and they want me to sign their (playing) cards. Card flourishing - that’s a thing now at schools!”
And it was as a child that Firman’s own passion for magic began.
“Magic was a hobby when I was a kid- I had a Fisher Price magic set when I was eight. We all have that period when we get a magic book and learn a couple of tricks.
“All my family were really good. My goodness, over the years they have sat through lord knows how many magic tricks. I suppose I’m a bit of a show off really.”
Pete Firman’s Hoodwinker tour is at Solihull Arts Complex on February 1. Tickets on 0121 704 6962.