Return of the Close Up Magician
Phenomenal close-hand tricks from a consummate performer
This article is from 2012.
Close-hand magician Lewis Barlow is a likeable performer. Unlike Derren Brown and his ilk, Barlow creates a show where magic is not swamped by the overbearing personality of the performer, but rather one where magic takes the centre stage.
Beginning with the disclaimers that a) there will be no smoke and mirrors and other distractions in this performance, and that b) this is not a stand-up show, Barlow nonetheless manages both to create intrigue and be funny in an undemonstrative way. He astonishes the audience from the outset by producing golden Chinese coins of differing sizes from a completely normal-looking red silk handkerchief, and proceeds to read the minds of a handful of audience members to find their chosen cards.
With a relaxed, humorous patter Barlow goes calmly, but never mechanically, through his magical motions, performing a genuinely staggering trick involving the Yellow Pages and a removal van. Audience participation is a painless, fun experience, and, for all his inherent amiability, Barlow throughout is a cool customer who literally fails to miss a trick. For anyone who wants jaw-dropping magic without the frills, Barlow is the man for you.
C nova, 0845 260 1234, until 27 Aug, 8pm, £10.50 (£8.50).