Lewis Barlow divulges his favourite close-up magic tricks
The magician is appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe with his own close-up magic show
This article is from 2012.
Despite being a magician, I’ve never experienced the urge to saw anyone in half. Instead, my passion is for close-up magic, where impossible things happen to ordinary items within reach of the audience. Here are four of my favourite effects, each one requiring over ten years of concentrated practice.
Signed Bill in Orange
A signed bank note is burnt on stage, before reappearing inside an orange that has been held by an audience member since the start of the show. I don’t touch either the note or the orange, and, as with all of my work, there are no accomplices involved and nothing is prearranged.
Although extremely difficult, this effect is beautifully simple. Four coins are borrowed, then vanish and reappear, one by one, inside a spectator’s closed fist.
Full Deck Stacking
A new pack of cards is mixed and examined by a spectator. With just one shufflle, I first deal myself a winning poker hand, then reveal that the entire deck is back to perfect order. I am aware of less than ten people in the world, including myself, that are able to perform this feat.
An effect from my latest Edinburgh Fringe show in which I ask a random spectator to think of a telephone number. Not only do I determine that number, I reveal that I had predicted their own telephone number before the show began.
Magic is often diluted by unnecessary razzmatazz, but my philosophy is to create and perform effects without smoke, mirrors or stooges that are so strong they speak for themselves.
Lewis Barlow: Return of the Close-Up Magician, C Nova, 0845 260 1234, 19–27 Aug, 8pm, £9.50–£11.50 (£7.50-£9.50).