1912 is a fairly unsuccessful attempt to reinvent old magic shows from the early 20th Century. The two performers, Sam Prior and Richard Sanders, never quite commit to the 1912 setting. They wear very cool vintage suits, but their speech is contemporary and constant references to the fact that they were setting it a century ago spoils the illusion. Pretty counter-productive really.
The magic itself was on the whole very impressive. Some particularly impressive material relating to memory. One trick involved an audience member selecting a random book from a table of around 30, another selecting a page, another a line, and finally a word, and the performer knew the word to the ‘t’ – or from the ‘t’ as the word was ‘them’. These routines meant that either the performer’s mind was absolutely exceptional or the audience were being influenced to make certain decisions. Either way, it’s pretty impressive stuff.
There was also a good dose of hypnosis, which led to one volunteers being comically unable to remove a knife from butter. A young boy from the audience proceeded to take it out with ease.
Despite the genuinely impressive tricks, the act itself was very poor. Both performers seemed quite uncomfortable, which made the audience follow suit. The dialogue between them was stilted and just plain bizarre at points. For example, one of the men seemed really quite annoyed when the audience were laughing too much.
The pace of the show was quite slow and the tricks certainly didn’t flow seamlessly into one another. This would have been perfectly excusable if the patter didn’t make the atmosphere so prickly.
The magic was undeniably good, so if you want to see a show that will genuinely impress you, this is well worth a watch, but you will miss the quality of performance and thrill that’s essential for a great magic show.