The sympathetic and entertaining presenter Donal Vaughan reveals scientific magic tricks, but breaks magic’s golden rule as he explains how he does them, as well as the scientific secrets behind them and even how to do them yourself at home. Even though there is a great educational value in the science by itself, the way he used the stage was poor and, towards the fourth trick, half of the audience had lost interest.
it felt more like a birthday party activity then a real show
The lack of the use of music or lighting contributed to the over simplicity this event suffers from - it felt more like a birthday party activity then a real show. The humour was sometimes funny, sometimes rude, and unfortunately a bit confusing as there were a lot of jokes regarding the science behind it. It was not always clear if it’s a joke or a real scientific explanation and Vaughan’s inside jokes are more confusing than nourishing.
The aim of the show, claims Vaughan, is to make science more accessible to adults and children, which was accomplished only in part. Although the tricks were good, the presentation was monotonous and could have used more theatrical effort.
The last trick involved Vaughan putting his hand in some kind of liquid and then setting his hand on fire for a few seconds until he dipped his hand back into the mysterious liquid. The trick was dramatic and had the wow effect, but left the audience puzzled - how did he do it? Although the first few tricks were simple to understand, possibly even to copy and do at home, Vaughan slowly and steadily made his tricks more complex and lessened the understanding of his audience, who were already not in a very receptive mode for all the verbal information. He could have easily solved his need to do more scientific experiments without giving explanations by giving the audience a sign that they don’t need to understand it at this point, but he didn’t and left his audience perplexed and distant from the secrets of science.