Paul Zenon - Lounge Wizard (3 stars)

This article is from 2010

Paul Zenon - Lounge Wizard

Old tricks with some new twists

Paul Zenon was once a TV regular. Now he’s performing in a Chinese-themed nightclub basement on the Five Pound Fringe. His quips to that effect, while delivered with self-deprecation rather than bitterness, carry an uneasy ring of truth that echoes through his act. Paul Zenon appears to be coasting. He’s still an excellent magician and wouldn’t have achieved success to start with if his patter and sleight-of-hand weren’t seriously slick. But the tricks he applies his skills to are mostly nothing new.

It’s enjoyable to see him substituting the mic cable into the ‘cut the rope/magically repair the rope’ routine, but the old tricks outnumber the new twists. And while a signed tenner appearing inside a lemon is still amazing when you don’t know how it’s done, Zenon himself comes across as unimpressed, even bored by it. No wonder he keeps having to rebuke the audience for failing to applaud; his body language says that there’s nothing worth getting excited about.

Le Monde, 270 3914, until 30 Aug (not 16), 9.15pm, £5.

Paul Zenon - Lounge Wizard

  • 3 stars

See TV's legendary snake-oil salesman up close and personal in his natural habitat - a bar. A happy hour-priced cocktail of cons, conjuring and comedy. Witness the author of '100 Ways to Win a Tenner' and the maestro of the 'Marquee de Sideshow' defend his title as the world's oldest juvenile delinquent. 'Countdown's wild…