The title and some of the banter are different, but essentially this is the same must see act magician-mentalist Chris Cox brought to Edinburgh last year. His stock in trade is to appear to know in advance what card a member of the audience will pick or what word he will choose from a book, since Cox will have the answer already written somewhere. Among the previously seen tricks are the circled word in the Fringe brochure already printed on Cox’s T-shirt, the audience member’s drawing he can duplicate without having seen it, and the collection of audience suggestions for film credits that magically appear on a DVD that has been held by one patron from the beginning.Cox acknowledges that these are all tricks, built on subliminal suggestions, sleight-of-hand and the reading of unconscious giveaways by his volunteers, but if anything that only adds to his impressiveness, since we are clearly in the hands of a master technician. Also contributing to the show’s fun is his amiable informality - he chooses volunteers by tossing a toy ferret into the audience - and complete absence of the traditional magician’s false pomposity and flashiness.
Chris Cox, to those who listen to Radio 1, will be well known as the station’s resident magician, but Cox is eager to prove that magic has nothing to do with it. Mixing magic tricks with psychology, technology and comedy he amazes the audience throughout the frantic hour.Holding a stuffed toy ferret, he throws it into the unsuspecting crowd and those unlucky enough to catch it are selected as his volunteers. Like a stripped bare Derren Brown he looses all the magician pomp and instead explains his psychological assessments of the situation. Take for example a man who has taken the ace of diamonds from a pack of cards. Using a technique known as positive reinforcement and combining it with the process of elimination, Chris Cox is able to analyze exactly when his volunteer is lying and slowly work out the correct card. Moments like this are thrilling to watch and surprisingly gripping.The show zips along at a great speed and there are some delightful touches peppered throughout. Using a DVD player on a timed loop he is able to introduce new tricks and continue conversations with himself via the screen.Entertaining and thought-provoking, do your best to grab a ticket.
THIS is a show that will change the way you think about your life. Cox's mind-reading performance is based on the premise that everything happens for a reason. And his argument is borne out by his demonstrations.He takes the audience on a journey using subliminal messaging, suggestion, illusion and psychology. Along the way he performs a series of mind-tricks that culminates in a finale that Cox has predicted long before the audience even took their seats.According to Cox, the momentary decisions that we take day in and day out shape our destinies.From this simple basis, Cox has produced a string of remarkable demonstrations of how simple choices lead to an unexpected future. But more - he calculates how those changes can be predicted.The audience is invited throughout the show to make a number of choices based on instinct and intuition. Yet Cox proves time and time again that these decisions were pre-determined.And he does so using multi-media, flair, showmanship and a sprinkling of humour.Despite the comedy and Cox's high-energy level, the audience is left wondering what would have happened had his predictions been wrong. As Cox himself explains, the show would finish a few minutes early. Each individual would therefore be in a different place: at a different time. That two minutes would alter their destiny forever. This is a mesmerising performance that entertains and educates - mind-reading with a message. [Drew McAdam]
You'll definitely get to put a face to the voice you occasionally hear discussing magic tricks on Radio 1. But will you get an hour of hysterical laughter? Perhaps not. But Chris Cox's magic tricks are good fun, and went well for the most part, with our host correctly guessing the cards random audience members had picked out. And I especially like the way those random audience members were picked - a stuffed ferret in a jumper is thrown into the audience and the trick begins where he lands. It's a system that caused some extra amusement, especially when the ferret hit people on the head. Unfortunately on this night Cox's last trick fell slightly flat as the ferret-selected people didn't choose exactly what he'd subliminally hinted at. But nonetheless, this was good natured family entertainment presented by a likeable young man with obvious talent.
As Chris Cox points out the title if this show gives him a get-out clause should any of his performance go wrong as ‘Everything Happens For A Reason’. Luckily Cox never has to invoke this phrase seriously throughout his show as he is truly a master of his art.To explain a bit more about his art – Chris Cox is a mind-reader who cannot read minds, however he can plant suggestions in order to get the required result. A bit like Derren Brown, only far less sinister.Cox is an endearing presence on stage and his line in self-deprecating humour allows the audience to empathise with him. The art of putting you at your ease is a pertinent one as there is every chance that you may be called upon at any time to participate in his act.Through the sheer act of catching a cuddly ferret I found myself up on stage where Cox managed to ‘read my mind’ successfully. It was very impressive and I genuinely have no idea how he did it. Maybe whilst I was up there he planted the suggestion that I should give him a good review, but he needn’t have bothered. This is a low-key show which is thoroughly engrossing and quite, quite gobsmacking.