City 1, Apex Hotel
Reviewed by Drew McAdam
According to the blurb, Stephen Long is not a mind reader.
Oh, yes? Well, that being the case, how come he always ends up with the cheque for £3, his socks match, he doesnít staple his hand to the table, and he knows what flavour of Revel youíre chewing?
There was a time when many mind readers were seen as a crusty sub-section of the magician fraternity. Thankfully, individuals such a TV psychological illusionist Derren Brown have changed all that.
So it comes as no surprise to find that Stephen Long is stage manager, consultant and assistant on several of Derrenís shows.
Technically, he has mastered the techniques necessary for reading minds. But, more importantly, you only have to watch him at work for a few moments to realise that heís really enjoying himself on stage. Whatís more, the audience love him. He has a real likeability factor.
He also has a wonderful take on mindreading as a performance art. He takes simple techniques, adding a dash of imagination and a scoop of his own personality, to produce a show which is a real winner.
The highlights include a game of hangman in which the participant can never win, and a game of staple gun Russian roulette in which Long will end up painfully stapling his hand to the table if he canít work out what the participant is thinking. Ouch.
This is a highly polished and genuinely funny show. One that you really donít want to miss. And when you pick up your prize of a Revel sweet and make your way back to your seat, donít be too surprised when Long tells you what flavour youíre chewing on. Believe it!
Just DONíT believe it when he tells you he canít read minds.
© Drew McAdam, August 2007