Ben Hart opens his hour-long show with a simple but beautiful magic trick that has a playful story attached. He’s confident, charming and has a wry smile that lets you know that he’s never going to be too serious and immediately makes you feel safe in his hands. The thing is, his hands seem capable of miracles.
Of course, I’m not saying what happened; you’ll have to see it for yourself. Believe me, you have to see this show.
Reviewing a magic show is always difficult as describing the tricks can only spoil the sense of wonder and this is particularly difficult with Ben Hart: Belief? as I desperately want to tell you about every trick, every witty aside and how he did things that left me, a man who sees a lot of magic, dumbfounded. But I cannot, so let’s keep this spoiler free.
Hart’s got a natural talent for working an audience and his aforementioned charm incorporates a healthy sense of self-deprecation with an added pinch of the absurd. As he tells us stories that frame the magic, he clearly understands the importance of stillness on stage and constantly exudes an air of mystery.
We get much of what you’d expect from a magician; there’s cards, envelopes, audience participation and even a bit of mind-reading but it’s all done with such confident flair and, often, playing out in unexpected ways.
Hart is fascinated by mystery and, in the standard format of such a show, he quickly sets up what will no doubt be the big reveal at the end of the piece and then does a marvellous thing; he throws out the option that we don’t need to see the reveal. Perhaps we might prefer to go home and enjoy the mystery of never knowing? It’s a bold choice but it fits nicely with the theme of belief. Of course, I’m not saying what happened; you’ll have to see it for yourself. Believe me, you have to see this show.