In a dark, sweaty room on an unusually warm Edinburgh summer day, the odds are already stacked against any act trying to hold an audience’s attention. Today, with polite banter, charmingly fun anecdotes and some deceptively simple tricks, Craig Stephenson does exactly that.
If you’re searching for a comfortable hour that will leave you scratching your head and asking “how did he do that?”, then you won’t go far wrong with this show.
Ever heard of the mystical art known as ‘telerabbitry’? No, me neither. However, using no more than a classic deck of cards and his sidekick Mr B (a toy rabbit, rather than the messier kind) Stephenson builds layer upon layer into this set whereby the only possible explanation left is that his stuffed accomplice really is communicating to him from across the room.
In an effort to debunk the cynics in the crowd, Stephenson matter-of-factly breaks down the mechanics behind the mind-reading and instructs audience members on how to achieve ‘heightened intuition’ themselves, with mixed results. Rounds of applause are humbly dedicated to audience volunteers, who look and sound like they’re happy, rather than embarrassed, to be a part of the show. This is in part down to the capable aura radiating from Stephenson himself: it’s clear that this is a pair of safe hands to be in. Whilst at times such a patient approach can lower the energy in the room, with a quiet confidence Stephenson keeps the audience hanging on his every word without the need for flashy props, lighting or other gimmicks.
Craig: Deception is very much a man and his rabbit, and relying on patter alone means that more technical moments of the show, such as setting up the final flourish of a finale, leave Stephenson short of script for a few awkward moments. Nonetheless, if you’re searching for a comfortable hour that will leave you scratching your head and asking “how did he do that?”, then you won’t go far wrong with this show.