Are our lives ruled by fate or chance? It’s hard to decide most of the time but even harder when a stage magician is making the seemingly impossible happen before your eyes.
Tall, blond, handsome (and from Belgium, which is certainly different) Laurent Piron is an eye-catching figure on stage. The sleeveless suit jacket certainly helps, given that — combined with his rolled up shirt - it clearly shows there’s nothing hidden up his sleeves. He commands your attention from the start, thanks to a confidence that’s clearly been honed by several years’ worth of travelling the globe as a street magic performer.
The show is initially framed as if Piron has just returned home and has found, to his surprise, that an audience is sitting there, earlier than he expected (somewhat ironic on this particular night, given that he started later than advertised because of the previous show). He asks the audience for a few moments to get himself sorted, though the decision to make a cup of tea is, of course, merely a hook on which to hang a sequence of tricks. Then a nasty credit card bill forces him to start turning strips of newspapers into money (an interesting take on Quantitative easing; the Bank of England might be interested) - all seemingly simple tricks, yet amazing enough to ensure the audience sometimes forgot to applaud!
The show is essentially a collection of Piron’s favourite tricks strung together as an attempt to illustrate the various moments in his life when either luck or fate helped push him towards performing magic tricks — when his five year old self was brought up on stage to help a magician with a trick, for example, or one particular Friday night with friends when he was introduced to the many magical ways you could magically disappear a handkerchief.
At times, though, this concept doesn’t seem quite strong enough an idea to maintain the show’s forward momentum; Piron is therefore reliant on the ‘wow’ factor inherent in his seemingly predictive abilities and a particularly neat trick with a Rubik’s Cube. Which, to be fair, is generally more than enough to keep his audience entertained.