Ben Hart: Belief? (4 stars)

Ben Hart: Belief?

Master of sleight of hand and a captivating host

'How many magicians does it take to change a lightbulb?' asks Ben Hart. 'Stop trying to work it out and just enjoy it.' Belief? has a very simple set-up, with nothing on stage except a small table fitted with a camera so we can watch his hands closely. Hart is a master of sleight of hand, manipulating playing cards, 'wishes' in a glass and even removing his watch, ring and money from his wallet before making them reappear where they all were.

His opening gambit about time is a bit wordy but Hart quickly proves himself to be a captivating host, with cheeky jokes, quick thinking and great comic timing. When an audience member who was meant to join him again for the final trick leaves, leaving a note saying she had another show, he handles it like a pro and has the whole room laughing along with his misfortune.

It's a varied show with card tricks, prediction, tapping people using only shadows and even the classic circus trick of linking rinks together – except this isn't done with stage props but rings gathered from members of the audience. Hart is a thoroughly versatile magician and his well-crafted show explores questions about the power of mystery over knowledge.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug, 5.45pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11).

Ben Hart: Belief?

  • 4 stars

Magician Ben Hart returns to stun once more with his dark and outrageous show.

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