A Night of Magic
24th April 2004
Reviewed by Anthony Pearson, Tranquility Base
Tucked round the corner from the Saturday glare and front that is London's Piccadilly Circus, the Jerymn Street Theatre is currently holding a little evening spectacle of it's own. With a delicious three course meal, we were simultaneously entertained with close up table magic. This was merely hor d'oueves for the cabaret that was to follow in the theatre itself.
The one hour show was kicked off in great style with classic magic from Oliver Tabor. As well as the traditional tricks associated with the tail wearing, dove producing magic of old, he added his own flavour with a violin motif. Underscored by cleverly chosen music, he shrank, dis and re assembled and vanished his violin with effortless flicks and darting hankerchiefs.
Next came the confident Matt Edwards who grabbed our attention with his anarchic edge, ready wit, bubbly personality and of course, the magic. His routine was beautifully balanced both with a range of fast illusions and also great story telling build ups, especially with his table card tricks.
But they save the best for last and this was to be no exception. Richard Leigh gave us classic tricks mixed with the raw zest of energy and excitement that made him the highlight of the evening. His assistant must be praised for enduring what seemed like a physical impossibility as the "sawing the woman in half" trick took on new meaning. Richard disassembled this woman in various boxes and seemed unforgiving in ripping them apart. Just when you thought the boxes couldn't get any smaller they do. Then of course, with his cheeky knowing grin, he reassembles the assistant before your eyes, who glamourously steps out of the box smiling as if nothing had happened. With a venue as intimate as Jermyn Street (it seats 70) you are left in no doubt that what you are witnessing is nothing short of incredible.
All in all, I would highly recommend this show. My only disappointment is that shows like these aren't more widespread in London. With it's central location, yet personal atmosphere, great food and a bar to keep your whistle wet (gasping in awe does dry the throat) you'd be a fool not to treat you're other half to a night they'll remember.
© Anthony Pearson, April 2004