The Silent Treatment
Reviewed by Tom Lauten
Jon Allen, the man who brought us all "Doubleback", one of the most respected packet tricks on the market, has brought us all another fine product.
The sales pitch states, "The Silent Treatment can be done as an opener or even in the middle of an act. Draw your audience right in without having to say a single word! For close-up or even larger audiences like in the video, it is a wonderful piece of theatre."... I couldn't agree more.
It is difficult to review this effect without blurting out it's inherent uniqueness and that is a wonderful surprise best experienced first hand. I urge you to go to the official Silent Treatment website www.thesilenttreatment.co.uk and watch the video of Jon Allen's performance of the effect at FFFF.
"TST" is a rich effect with solid technique, time honoured methods, original presentation, a touch of humour and a good dose of wonder for the spectator. How does one categorise "TST"? Old fashion magic? Mentalism? Bizarre magic? Comedy? All of the above if you like.
Although "TST" is ideal for openers, it isn't JUST for openers. There are any number of ways to fit this into a set, although it does tend to lend itself naturally to either topping or tailing a performance.
The technique/s used are simple and you can go into the effect with confidence. There are no knuckle-busting moves, sleights or awkward moments, everything plays out beautifully. Even beginners will be able to handle this effect but I would suggest purchasers pay close attention to their acting abilities. The secret to the success of a "Silent Treatment" routine is in a well practiced and charismatic delivery.
The materials provided are clean and well made. You get a series of "boards" with engaging "patter" printed onto them in a charming, conversational style. No hokum here...worry not! The printing is clear and of very nice quality indeed. The "boards" are laminated paper/card stock and heavy plastic covers are included all held together with elasticated chord. This essential "booklet/folder" should last for years.
A DVD is provided as the source of instruction and outlines Jon Allen's routine and technique in meticulous detail. No stone is left unturned. Jon employs a charming wit without being wearisome as so often happens when people try to " be funny". He gets on with it and entertains…what a relief! You are taken through the trick from A-Z and Mr. Allen offers his own personal hints and tips to ease your silent way! I would have preferred to see a printed "quick reference sheet" as well, but its absence is no real hardship, it took me 10 minutes to write up my own. You will also need a deck of your favourite cards.
The Silent Treatment is seriously good mojo. An impressive routine and a solid method combined with quality props and a comprehensive training DVD. Jon Allen clearly cares about turning out a quality product both in conceptual and practical terms.
You can purchase The Silent Treatment direct from The Silent Treatment website or from a favoured stockist and the prices are... UK Inland - £31.50 Overseas - £33.00 (including postage and packing).
© Tom Lauten, August 2005