Looking like Jack Dee in a dragon suit performing jaw-dropping tricks, Piff the Magic Dragon was the stand-out star of ITV’s Penn & Teller Show, racking up 12 million YouTube views.
Piff’s combination of dry, deadpan delivery and impressive, close hand illusions (and the cheap-looking costume) give an impression of an old-fashioned children’s entertainer beaten down by life. He’s very different, hugely entertaining and well on his way to stardom.
Piff has appeared in the West End with La Soiree, performed in cabaret with Stephen Merchant, and he broke Edinburgh records for the highest box office takings in a single night. He has also enjoyed a sell-out seven-night run at Sydney Opera House. He takes the stage with his co-star Mr Piffles. For the record, Mr Piffles is the world’s first ever magician chihuahua, and he happily survived the canon routine. His master maintains that none of the tricks go wrong – they just have different endings.
Just imagine Larry David in a dragon suit performing jaw-dropping magic tricks and you’re on the right track. Piff has performed to hundreds of thousands of civilians in preposterous venues such as Radio City Music Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe, the O2, London and Sydney Opera house. His solo show has had five record breaking runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, two sell-out seasons at Soho Theatre in London’s West End, a national tour of the UK and Australia. He was the opening act for Mumford & Sons on their 17 date uk tour and has just completed a six month residency at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in their flagship show Vegas Nocturne.
Every hero needs a sidekick and Piff the Magic Dragon is no exception. Step forward Mr Piffles, the World’s First Magic Performing Chihuahua. Accompanying Piff on his many adventures Mr Piffles has been levitated, laminated, shackled in a strait jacket and shot out of a cannon all in the name of entertainment. It was during the Edinburgh Fringe of 2009 that Piff realized something was missing from his act. What he needed was a gimmick. So he sallied forth to rescue a small white Chihuahua from the clutches of deepest darkest Dundee and the pair have been inseparable ever since.
These days Mr Piffles earns his kibble charming the damsels and negotiating contracts by the power of his cuteness. And although they may be a double act, it’s no secret who the star is.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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