Marc Salem - Mind Games
New Ambassador's Theatre, London
April 30th - June 23rd 2002
Reviewed by Matthew Blackwell
Marc Salem and I should team up. We're going to start a new religion. I'll be
his manager and he can do the weirdy mind stuff. He's already decided to it; I
discussed it with him telepathically.
Marc Salem is currently appearing at the New Ambassador's Theatre, London in an extended run until June 23. And he's very good. I could actually end the review there but, well, I won't.
Marc presents a very nicely paced show. It's an hour and a half (no interval) but the time goes by at a spanking pace. After a characteristically offbeat entrance, he soon gets stuck in, freely plucking thoughts from the minds of some randomly selected participants. Once he's limbered up he goes onto further routines, demonstrating his skills in psycho-wizardry by umm reading some more thoughts from some other people. The thing is, it doesn't just come across as ninety minutes of 'man-reads-thoughts' - there's real variety, and it's this combination of expert presentational design, and the performer's pleasing personality that carries the audience willingly along on this journey into the slightly odd world of Marc Salem.
Marc builds the complexity of the routines throughout the show and effectively enables the 'belief' of his audience. As he starts off a few near-miss hits give credence to Marc's apparent use highly developed skills in behavioural psychology; he even explains some of the verbal and physical cues through which he has made his living. By the end of the show the audience is taken in to the extent where the effects presented are perceived as strong yet credible, despite the absence of any plausible explanation. Magic is the suspension of disbelief, and this is something Marc Salem has mastered to the full.
Though he might suggest it, in watching Marc's show you'll unlikely learn any new skills in behavioural science; what you'll see instead is a master at work, demonstrating how to capture the imagination of an audience in such a way that they willingly participate in your mind games and enter a world where practically anything is possible.
Cheeky isn't it.
I'd like to end the review with a short psychic* message... a piece of advice
. . Yes, that's right. You should.
(*) Of course, there's not really anything occult or psychic in this review; you're just picking up on subtle cues that I may or may not have given you. By the way, you're very good.
© Matthew Blackwell, June 2002