Lewis Barlow: Close-Up Magician
This article is from 2009.
A magical hour in a safe pair of hands
Barlow starts the hour by not claiming to be a comedian or perform any flashy illusions. Magicians are notorious liars, though, and this masterclass in card and coin tricks proves to be very entertaining, and as jaw-droppingly impressive as any of David Copperfield’s supersized shenanigans.
Starting small, he takes for granted that the audience knows the basis for each trick and even the particular skills he uses to achieve it. Demonstrations of producing coins from thin air, locating a single card in pack and dealing a winning hand at poker are all effortlessly done, but never in a way that would incur the wrath of The Magic Circle.
When he kicks it up a notch and escalates each trick beyond the understanding of all but other magicians it becomes something else. It’s the difference between knowing how to read music and hearing a virtuoso wring all the emotion out of Beethoven. At the top of the hour Barlow claims that this is as close to ‘real’ magic as it gets. What is easily dismissed as more of that magician falsity turns out to be true.
C Central, 0845 260 1234, until 31 Aug, 9.10pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£9.50).