I have always been fond of a bit of close-up magic. I know it’s a trick, it is about manipulating and misleading your audience but I still marvel at the skill of it, and of those who make their living upscaling from the trade of the street charlatan.
With this is mind I joined in with last night’s show, expecting an escapist bit of variety, and ready to give it a well-rounded review. It was billed as “a live and interactive virtual magic experience” as Magical Bones and his guests brought their virtuoso performances into our living rooms.
Zoom streaming, as long as your connection is clear and stable enough, is perfect for sleight of hand magic. I enjoyed the routines of Magic Singh with everyday objects doing extraordinary things, and Brendan Rodrigues (an arch manipulator whose elastic band trick showcased lightning-fast fingers).
Less effective in this medium was Shelley Baker’s aerial climb, which needs the atmosphere of a live audience: no reflection on her obvious skill, but the camerawork was rather static and the stream less than razor-sharp.
Body-popper and dancer Brooke Milliner, in contrast, showcased a routine which was both clever and comic, and I look forward to seeing more dance and movement in digital shows. The camera already favours ballet and some forms of modern dance, so Milliner’s inclusion here is a perfect fit.
Four intriguing tricks from Magical Bones required audience participation: respectively concerning a choice of card, layers of a Rubik cube, a collection of rail tickets to different destinations, and a trick I’d joined in before at a previous magic show involving the destruction of a pack of playing cards.
A charismatic performer who is clearly as at home with an audience on screens as in a theatre, he came to prominence through Around The World In Eighty Tricks on television and has been stunning audiences for a decade.
Magic is all about putting logic and realism aside, and enjoying the feeling of being fooled and stunned into wild appreciation. If that’s what you’re after – and we all need an escape from the real world now and then – £12 will give you a place on either of tonight’s shows. Book at https://magicalbones.com/kind-magic/.
LouReviews received a complimentary ticket to review A Kind of Magic.