July 20, 2006 Chris Cox

Bristol Evening Post: Success Is On The Cards For Illusionist Chris

A Young illusionist will be showing off his talents in Bristol next month in preparation for his show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Former Bristol student Chris Cox will be playing nine dates at the festival in August.

But first he will be giving a preview of his innovative multi- media show in his hometown of Backwell.

In the act, which he has called You Can’t Read Minds?, Chris performs alongside a 2D version of himself on television.

He said he is looking forward to the Fringe festival but is pleased to be able to practise in Bristol beforehand.

He said: “The Fringe festival is such a big thing to be involved in. It’s really exciting and quite scary actually.

“I have been going to the festival myself for the past six years to watch stand-up comedy and have always wanted to perform.

“Hopefully it will lead to more shows.

“Ideally, I’d love to one day take my show on tour.”

The 22-year-old is following in the footsteps of another former Bristol student – psychological illusionist Derren Brown. But he says he is keen to put his own stamp on the show.

He said: “My shows used to be quite similar to Derren Brown’s, but now there is a much more comedic side to my mind reading.

“I decided to introduce a ‘Little Chris’ into the show – a 2D, pre-recorded version of me on a TV screen.

“He interacts with the audience and predicts what they will say, but it is all pre-recorded so I couldn’t have known what the audience member would say.

“That means I have to influence them using suggestion and mind control.”

Like Derren Brown, Chris combines confidence and intuition to subtly guide human behaviour. He describes his craft as a mixture of applied psychology, magic, misdirection and showmanship.

He said: “The unique blend of magic and psychology gives the impression of mind-reading.”

Chris began performing at age six, after receiving a Paul Daniels magic set as a gift.

He has been featured on television shows such as The Big Breakfast, Live and Kicking, The Real Holiday Show, Jack Dee’s Happy Hour and The Biz, and also appeared in a series of adverts for Comic Relief.

Chris now lives in London but comes back to Bristol to visit his mum, who lives in Portishead, and to work at the BBC, in Whiteladies Road.

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