Oliver Meech: When Magic and Science Collide

Science reveals, magic conceals, but both can inspire a sense of wonder, according to stage magician Oliver Meech. Dressed in a white lab coat, his aim is clearly to inspire some of that sense of wonder– either that, or a breakout of discussion groups afterwards focused on 'how did he do THAT?!'.

In-keeping with his scientific theme, Meech places many of his magical tricks within a context of time travel, parallel universes and super-advanced technology. Even without those explanations, his presentation is smooth; if you're at all sceptical about such ideas (most commonly found in science fiction, but subject of debate among real scientists), then your sense of wonder will surely be even greater.

Most stage magicians are fond of some audience participation and Meech is no exception, although how he selects his 'assistants' is often on the deliberately contrived side; for example, organising an 'Evolutionary Olympics' between six audience members randomly allocated some bizarre future mutations. That said, Meech is not the kind of performer who uses those he brings up on stage as comedy foils, and you might even get to taste the delights of his 'Snackomatic' device (which, frankly, looks suspiciously like a rolled up piece of paper).

Possibly the cleverest part of Meech's show is his 'ever-evolving card trick', one element of which changes every performance following suggestions from the previous day's audience. On the day of this review, it had been decided that he had to perform the trick while (a) skipping and (b) making a balloon animal. To everyone's surprise–though perhaps most obviously his own–he succeeded in successfully selecting a card chosen by a young lad from the audience. That's not the clever part, though; having noted down some new suggestions (including a coffee grinder, a shark tank or balancing a pineapple on his head), Meech promised to post up pictures the following day for people to see which he had chosen. Quite possibly only a small proportion of that day's audience will actually do so, but it certainly helps keep Meech in their mind.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite

★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

A comedy magic show for the QI generation. Amazing tricks inspired by astounding science. It's the Natural Selection! 'Could rival Derren Brown' (Theatre-Wales.co.uk). 'Funny, endearing, impressive showmanship' (ThreeWeeks). Sell out: Green Man Festival.