The Sherlock Holmes of entertainment returns to Edinburgh with another hour of illusion
Are you an honest person? Acclaimed stage mentalist Colin Cloud ponders this question in his brand new show Sinful, revealing, in the process, why it's so much more fun to ask for forgiveness than permission.
'As an artistic proposition, the show examines and explores the human psyche,' Cloud explains, 'why we act and behave the way we do, specifically the sins we allow ourselves to become wrapped up in and how, as a result, they can define our perception of the world and ourselves.'
Sinful is set to feature more of Cloud's traditionally jaw-dropping stunts and astounding illusions, but the addition of special guest Chloé Crawford promises to take the show to new heights.
'Chloé and I met in the run-up to performing on Broadway together. We hit it off immediately. Over the course of that run, we devised material which we started playing together. Since then, we've been working on making Sinful a truly mind-altering event for the audience.'
Having tested out some of the material at The Magic Castle in Hollywood to rave reviews, the pair are excited to bring the show home and back to the Pleasance.
'For my third year in the Pleasance Grand, I wanted to create something bigger, better and very different to what I've done before, so, to ensure it stays fresh for loyal fans, the insanely talented Chloé Crawford agreed to tag team the show with me allowing us to accomplish demonstrations and stunts that would otherwise be impossible.
'Chloe's background is in performing massive illusions and shock magic, as well as contemporary takes on classic sleight-of-hand. This visually grand aspect combined with psychological and deductive techniques promises to play a large part in our artistic direction moving forward.'
credit: Stuart Robertson
While many magicians or mentalists make grand claims about their abilities, Cloud has always placed an emphasis on connecting with audiences in unique and meaningful ways.
'I've always wanted my shows to go beyond the performance of astounding and impressive tricks/demonstrations/stunts. I'm more interested in making them meaningful. If people just want to come and be amazed, they will be! But if they also want an insight into how I use my training and thinking to view the world, then great, that takeaway makes it far more interesting for those who are looking to consider what I'm doing on the next level.
'Everything boils down to that raw, authentic, connection with the audience. The audience become the stars of the show, we have a great time together and if I can help them to feel understood as individuals, all the better.'
So what can audiences expect from Cloud this time round? With the element of surprise being a major element of the show, he's not giving away any spoilers but, needless to say, there will be moments of hilarity, tension and ultimately astonishment.
'I've always enjoyed those dark twists in previous years. I've killed a member of the audience, survived lethal injections and solved my own murder. This year, I'll be indirectly risking the life of someone else based on my ability to read the audience accurately.
'Training for the show has been intense, conversations with our insurers have been heated, and the advice of medical experts has actually been quite frightening,' he says. 'But it's in taking these risks and pushing the boundaries of expectation, I'm able to give the audience something they won't experience anywhere else. I can honestly say Sinful is way more dangerous than anything I've ever attempted in the past.'
Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug (not 13), 8pm, £15.50–£17.50 (£14–£16).
Lee Martin for Gag Reflex in association with Kilimanjaro Live Are you an honest person? And did you just lie to yourself? Colin Cloud knows the truth – and the truth is that we're all sinners. In Sinful, Cloud will charm the demons in your head and reveal whether you are saint or sinner. He'll listen to those whispering…