November 30, 2011 Chris Cox

Sunday Express Scotland: Fatal Distraction Review

THE stage is set with two flip charts, a flat-screen monitor and a bookcase filled with childhood paraphernialia. Then 27-year-old Chris Cox, described as a “magical mentalist”, enters the picture and suddenly nothing is quite what it seems.

This is a mind reader who says he cannot read minds but “somehow gets away with it”. From where I am sitting, he is pretty convincing in proving himself wrong.

Essentially, the show is about psychological tricks and crowd control, but with a healthy dose of humour and laughter, masses of audience participation and some astonishing bits of magic.

Based on a love story, the former assistant producer of Radio 1’s Chris Moyles Show, who hails from Bristol, tells us how he fell in love and had his heart broken.

Every now and again he asks us – at random, it seems – details about his girlfriend from her name to where she came from and somehow we get it right.

So how does he do it?

There is the monitor, of course, showing pictures that must influence our answers, there is the music and hints in his story that almost spell out what we should say.

But it still does not explain the accuracy and detail of our replies.

Are we all under some strange spell or is this young man simply brilliant? I tend to lean towards the latter.

He then moves on to chuck out copies of the 360-pages thick Fringe guide asking people to shout out page numbers at random, promptly reciting the acts listed in each section.

Maybe he has a secret assistant whispering the answers to him or maybe he just is that good.

Either way, this is an act well worth seeing.

Paula Murray

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