Seven Wonders of Magic

Lewis Barlow is an old-school parlour magician working within the great close-up tradition of tricks with coins, cards, ropes and money borrowed from the audience. In this show, he sets out to pull apart the composite elements of magic and demonstrate the eponymous seven basic effects that, elaborated and combined, make up all magic. Unfortunately this great concept is swamped in the individual patter for each of the tricks. Rather than coming away with anecdotes about the great magicians, analysis of illusion history and astounding demonstrations, the audience is left with a string of close up magic effects which although brilliant are simply not what the advertising leads us to expect.The highlight of the show is a very tight coin transportation routine on a black baize table, which I learned after the show has won an award for individual close-up magic. The coins appear and disappear in increasingly unlikely configurations until the poor couple who have come up from the audience are completely bewildered. Similarly impressive is the mentalist effect in which cards held by eight members of the audience are guessed correctly, not because the divination is particularly impressive but because of the clever way the routine ties in with the rest of the show - I won’t give it away!Whether doing flourishes in handcuffs, levitating and laminating cards or using his charming self-depreciating humour to make the audience laugh and miss a key moment of his incredibly accomplished slight of hand, Barlow is a wonderful and traditional magician to have at a party or to encounter in a casino. The transition to presenting a stage show could have been better handled.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard

Creatives

★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond

★★★★★

The Blurb

All magic, from appearances to transformations, is composed of only seven elements. This breathtaking and original show is a rare opportunity to witness them all. 'Charming and hugely impressive' (FringeGuru.com). 'A virtuoso' (List). www.lewisbarlow.com