Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Suave and polished illusions from this pair of Antipodean manipulators. You know you are seeing an illusion, you know your mind is being manipulated and your eyes deceived but you just can’t work out how these guys pull the stunts off. And where that bottle of wine appeared from I will never know.
Simon Coronel and Vyom Sharma are quite up front with their audience in this packed venue – they are going to be manipulated over the next fifty minutes. Entertained, certainly, but manipulated so that these two high class illusionists end up controlling matters and holding all the aces.
That much is evident from the start as they launch into a routine with the two of them simultaneously making coins appear and disappear from the palms of their hands, using the simple distraction of a handkerchief and some nimble dexterity of the fingers. We then get a demonstration of wealth distribution that would have George Osborne salivating and demanding to use it as a means of kick-starting the UK’s ailing economy. Quite how the banknotes on display appeared and disappeared no-one could work out. Sufficeth to say that everyone was reaching for their wallets at the end of that routine to check that they hadn’t been the victim of any light fingered interference.
The pair are as much showmen and story tellers as they are illusionists. Suave and polished, they beguile the audience into believing they are going to be let into the secret of how tricks are done, only to find that this is, in itself, a form of distraction to allow the pair to pull off yet another stunning illusion. True, some of the prose allows them to fill out the show with a couple of relatively simple feints, but the denouement illusion was extremely well worked to gasps of astonishment from this young and somewhat gob-smacked crowd and I certainly wouldn’t advise playing cards with either of these two.
Manipulation is all about practising and controlling the art of distraction to allow you to achieve your objective, in this case the provision of entertainment through close-up, sleight of hand illusion. We know we are being manipulated. We think we can see how. Only we can’t, because this extremely impressive duo have worked out how to manipulate us when we know we’re being manipulated by manipulating us in a way in which we think we’re not being manipulated but we really are. If you’re still with me, you’ll enjoy what these guys have on offer. But make sure you keep your hand on your wallet.