How to wear denim this summer
DIRECTOR: Tara Notcutt
CAST: Stuart Lightbody
VENUE: Kalk Bay Theatre
UNTIL: October 6
SLEIGHT-of-hand gets a shot of elegant theatricality courtesy of performer Stuart Lightbody (pictured) in Illusive.
Directed by Tara Notcutt , Lightbody should change his name to Lightfingers as he puts the magic back into the art of illusion.
Making cards and coins appear and disappear may seem like a simple idea, but Lightbody does it with élan, keeping you guessing and gasping through a mixture of misdirection and understated skill.
He weaves together the old-school tradition of magic tricks in the parlour to while away the evening, with a thoroughly modern-day pacing, asking the audience simply to allow the magic to happen.
The art of illusion is emphasised over the practicality of the science of what he does, but never at the expense of entertainment or under-estimating the audience’s common sense.
While he is clearly skilled, his movements are effortless and without unnecessary flourishes. After one trick he self-deprecatingly declares it as nine years of his life, done in three-and-a-half minutes.
As you enter the performance space, audience members are handed a card which you are meant to keep secret, but as the show progresses Lightbody will guess what the card is or really astound you by leading another audience member into guessing what your card is.
While he could easily explain how he does it, the mesmerising quality of what you see doesn’t lie in being privy to some secret, but simply in the delivery, which is beautifully impossible while still impossibly beautiful.
Even when you know exactly how a trick works, you appreciate the performance because he does it so stylishly.
While he is making cards and coins appear and disappear, Lightbody provides a narrative structure to the evening, telling stories about other magicians, or his own experiences, over the years.
Notcutt’s presence is also felt in that the show isn’t melodramatic or over the top; instead it is kept simple, allowing the magic to reign and you to wallow in a sense of wonder and amazement.
Sure, you could go online and find the manual, but that totally spoils the fun of an unreal experience which relies on pure artistry to entertain.