Mind Games (PAL VHS)
by David Hawkins
Over the past few years magic on TV has been given a real boost with some groundbreaking programmes like the Derren Brown series, Monkey Magic and a number of one off specials featuring performers such as escapologist Thomas Solomon. The creative forces behind all of these programmes are a small group of talented guys including Anthony Owen, Marc Paul, Andy Nyman, and Andrew O'Connor. Now these guys have established an online retail outlet called (imaginatively) TVMagic.co.uk to market a wide range of associated publications, videos, DVDs and souvenirs. One of the more interesting items is a two volume video (VHS) set of "Mind Games" a series of 15 half hour programmes originally shown on Live TV featuring top mentalist (and all round nice guy) Marc Paul. Although fairly basic in terms of production values (a presenter, three members of the public and Marc), these shows allow Marc to demonstrate his talents with an amazing range of mental effects. Each show consists of Marc performing four or five items, plus the occasional interactive effect for the viewer to take part in, and one or two items such as a brief description of memory techniques and NLP.
The range of mentalism effects Marc performs is truly staggering covering everything from metal bending, blindfold drive (performed as a memory feat) and muscle reading, plus many many others. The well read mentalist will recognise effects by Bob Cassidy, Banacheck, Larry Becker, a number of dealer items and of course a few of Marc's original ideas. Although no explanations are given, since this was a show for the general public, anyone interested in mentalism can gain an awful lot from seeing Marc's presentations (for example watch out for his masterly handling of The Mother of All Booktests). Although the videos are VHS tapes, and not quite the pin sharp quality we have got used to from DVDs, the quality is fine and perfectly watchable.
I would highly recommend these tapes, and at the same time urge you to have a look through the other items listed on the website. Wonderful stuff!
Mind Games (2 video set) - £30 available from www.tvmagic.co.uk.
© David Hawkins, December 2004