November 30, 2011 Chris Cox

AllTheFestivals: Fatal Distraction Review

Chris Cox has a self deprecating manner that attempts to lull the audience into the misguided and totally wrong belief he doesn’t really know what he is doing. To underestimate his capabilities is a big mistake as his charming and innocent demeanour belies his talent and abilities to manipulate. Claiming that he is a mind reader who can’t actually read minds is a great way to discredit yourself before you actually do anything. One of the great things about this show is that he leads you to believe that he is going to fail in his objectives although the audience is willing him to succeed. When he does pull through despite all the shambling uncertainty the relief in the room is palpable.

From the outset Cox’s skills are apparent. His first trick involves outguessing what three audience members are going to come up with after, during and before they have put pen to paper. It is an extremely clever and persuasive trick as from this moment on his capabilities are no longer in question. Further guessing games are then engendered and there is a narrative thread involving a failed romance that runs through each unfolding feat. A memory trick involving audience members shouting out random pages of the Fringe programme whilst Cox uses his memory to recall what exactly is on said pages is highly impressive. It may have been more impressive if I hadn’t attended Barry and Stuart’s ‘Show’ part of their latest show wherein they reveal how this type of trick is performed so therefore it is no longer a mystery to me. It is still an impressive feat and he is tackling the Fringe magazine which has over 300 pages. This is minor quibbling however as his last feat is to draw his whole show to a cohesive conclusion which he does in a very adept manner.

Cox asked his audience not to reveal too much about his show and it would be unfair to reveal most of the content. It is however safe to say that it is a great act that is certainly worth catching. I saw his show two years ago and am pleased to announce he has lost none of his charm but somehow has managed to hone his stagecraft into something even more professional. After shows end he hands out badges to every audience member which means that each one can walk around with ‘I Love Cox’ emblazoned on their front. There’s no arguing with that really!

David Marren

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