Chris Cox says he is a ‘mind reader who can’t read minds’, which may be true but he can certainly make it look as if he can. The boy has enough energy to power the National Grid; he talks so fast it’s a wonder he doesn’t burn his lips, but it’s all very entertaining.
The show is apparently constructed around multiple suggestions from the audience, so many of them that the mind starts to reel, as he throws a stuffed ferret into the crowd and bids us throw it from person to person giving out apparently random pieces of information, all of which, it turns out, he has predicted in advance. He appears to have memorised the entire Edinburgh Fringe programme, and this week’s Bath Chronicle. And more, much more. All this is done with many a cheeky quip, and the bemused participation of a packed and enthralled audience, many of whom wind up on stage. As with all good magicians, even his ‘mistakes’ turn out not to be mistakes and have been predicted in advance. Cox really does appear to know what people are thinking, while strenuously denying it.
One of the (many) things that distinguish this from your average magic show is that it has a narrative plot line, a love story about a relationship he has had with a particular girl; and the way he draws all the threads from the seemingly completely random audience contributions into a final delicious denouement prove how carefully, but bafflingly, crafted it all is. How does he do it? He’s probably made a pact with Satan, but what the hell – this is top entertainment. (John Christopher Wood)