It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate setting for an evening of magic and illusion than this. As the sun sets, you enter The Dome, take in the grandeur of the entrance hall and await the call to ascend the golden staircase. There is a moment of anticipation for what is to come; magic is already in the air. Expectations have been set sky-high to match the endless windows, countless mirrors and glittering chandeliers adorning the ceiling. Thankfully, you won’t be disappointed.
Do you believe in magic? Maybe. Do you believe in the power of illusion, words and chance? Possibly. Will you enjoy this show? Definitely.
Scott Silven was not an ordinary boy. Using anecdotes artfully scattered throughout the evening, we are regaled with events from his childhood, such as memorising the words from text books or visualising shapes amongst the stars. This is more than idle banter; Silven’s subtle progression from storytelling to showmanship, flitting between each almost imperceptibly, is one of the joys of the set. The wonder of this show arises not only from the logic-defying acts that take place, but on the narrative crafted by these anecdotes. The focus is not upon a razzle-dazzle performance but on the concepts of choice, free will and fate: are our choices our own, Silven asks, or are our decisions predefined? By the end of the evening you will have found your answer.
It would be wrong to go into too much detail, suffice it to say that the grand reveals when they came left myself and other audience members with jaws ajar, some volunteers visibly in disbelief at their unwitting part in the illusions of the evening. With perfectly executed hand gestures and cuttingly clear articulation, not a hair is out of place in Silven’s character. Even seemingly spontaneous moments retain a sense of this confident direction; there is no doubt that this man is entirely in control. This can sometimes be detrimental - it becomes hard to fully believe in the implied ‘failure’ of an act, and a forced hesitation can jar at times with the expectant silence of the audience - but there is a comforting security in knowing that we are always in safe hands. Even when Silven is wrong, it seems, he is right.
The entire evening is a wonderfully enjoyable indulgence. Do you believe in magic? Maybe. Do you believe in the power of illusion, words and chance? Possibly. Will you enjoy this show? Definitely.