JUST Josh is York magician, musical actor, comedy turn and York Maze entertainer Josh Benson. WonderPhil is Easingwold magician, actor, soul singer, guitarist, songwriter, festival and event organiser, sound designer and polymath Phil Grainger.

You may have seen Josh, 21, playing a young Ernie Wise on TV or a cheeky schoolboy in The Girls, the Gary Barlow and Tim Firth Calendar Girls musical that took him from Leeds Grand Theatre to the West End.

You may have seen Phil, 30, as George in Alexander Flanagan Wright's hit show The Great Gatsby at The Fleeting Arms or 41 Monkgate, or in The Flanagan Collective's Orpheus, and much more besides.

Now the two cheeky-chappy friends are uniting for their debut double act, Making A Magic Show, at the Great Yorkshire Fringe this weekend in The Teapot on Parliament Street.

"There's 30 minutes on the clock. It’s their first ever show together. Josh still hasn’t decided on a stage name!" runs the show's publicity. "With a combined 17 years of children’s entertainment, York’s very own Just Josh & WonderPhil are back home, side by side, for the very first time, making a magic show together. What could possibly go wrong?"

These "master mischief makers, Big Kids Entertainers" promise a family show about magic, entertainment and best mates that may contain magic and will contain nuts.

"It's kind of an anti-magic show," says Phil. "Where we haven't finished making the show so we have only 30 minutes left to make it," says Josh.

"So we're deciding what we want to put in a magic show," says Phil. "It's kind of like watching Tweedledee and Tweedledum."

"We're playing our characters, Just Josh and MagicPhil, and from the start we have a 30-minute timer for us to finish rehearsing the show in time for the second part to be the 30-minute slapdash show, only for everything to go wrong," says Josh,

"Until everything works out at the end," says Phil. "So basically it's two idiots doing a magic show."

York Press:

It's NOT The Joshua Benson Show? Er, actually it is. Two performances in fact, July 26 and 27

"We've been doing magic shows for 17 years between us, me doing six years, Phil doing 11, and people kept telling us w e were like each other, despite the height difference, even though we'd never met until I was doing Calendar Girls in London and Phil was doing The Great Gatsby there," recalls Josh.

"We ended up living together down there and we were pretty much the biggest kids on the planets, so that's why we called ourselves Big Kids Entertainers.

"I was doing kids' parties, so was Phil, so we thought, 'let's not be in competition, let's do it on a joint basis', where if I can't do a show, Phil can, and vice versa."

What happened while you were in London? "We shared a place for a year and we didn't manage to write a word," recalls Phil. "It was only when we moved out that we said, 'right, we really must start writing the show', and that's why it's ended up as it has."

The height difference adds to the double act: Josh is 5ft 4ins; Phil, 6ft 2ins. "I always say if you were to put Phil in a washing machine, you'd end up with me," says Josh, who will have a second show at the Fringe, It’s NOT the Joshua Benson Show, on July 26 and 27.

"It’s NOT the Joshua Benson Show” is all I was ever told as a kid. So, I started doing kids' parties, so that I could ‘show off’ to an audience of under 12s, who don't consider you a loser for doing magic!" he says. "After six years – and counting – as a family entertainer, it's time for my first show for grown-ups.

"It's basically an hour and a bit of me being me. It's got magic, juggling, poetry...art. It's not stand-up but it has comedy in it. It's not a musical but there's music in it....and a bit where I try to catch Mini Eggs in my mouth."

Meanwhile, Josh is busy at the York Maze from July 13 to September 2 as the "Corntroller of Entertainment". Good job title!

Making A Magic Show, with Just Josh & WonderPhil, Great Yorkshire Fringe, The Teapot, Saturday and Sunday, 2pm.

Josh Benson in It's NOT The Joshua Benson Show, Great Yorkshire Fringe, The Basement, City Screen, York, July 26, 4.30pm; The Arts Barge, July 27, 4pm. Box office: 01904 500600 or at greatyorkshirefringe.com

Charles Hutchinson