From the moment I stepped into the venue and was handed a pen I knew this show was going to be full of audience participation. This was not traditional comedy where the comedian stands on stage with just a mic for company: This was a set, with props.Chris Cox is the mind reader who can’t read minds. However, he does a good job of making me believe he can do just that. The lanky Brit bounces on stage, charms the crowd with his self-deprecating humour and soon you’re swept along on a baffling, but thoroughly enjoyable hour of entertainment.He's honest that he can't actually read minds and uses techniques such as reading body language, word association, and you know those props on stage aren't random, but his abilities are still, well, mind blowing.The thread that runs through the show looks at the question, "What if?" giving it a structure with an unexpected poignancy.There is comedy but the most interesting part is the audience participation - for the more timid out there he doesn't humiliate - and how he manages to get people to scratch their heads and say out loud "What the...?"Such as how did he know that man's phone number? And how did he know this woman wanted him to break-dance? Be prepared to throw your thoughts at Cox and see what comes back.If you're looking to sit back and let some good old-fashioned comedy wash over you this probably isn't the show for you. However, if you want to experience something extraordinarily unique, go see Cox.Just be prepared to leave with one question echoing round your mind - how did he do that?
Halfway through Chris Cox's show, you start to wonder when his luck will run out and he’ll start making wildly wrong attempts at mind reading. He's done a pretty good job up to this point of somehow working out what people are thinking, and then sharing their thoughts with the rest of us. He does claim to be a mind reader who can’t read minds, after all.Fatal Distraction is an apt name for his show; his routine is less about the magic of mind reading, and more about the techniques used to distract people into showing him what he needs to know. He’s pretty upfront about it too; reminding us several times that he can’t actually read minds. Only, after the umpteenth WTF moment, you begin to wonder whether he actually, somehow, does possess some kind of telepathic power.The bulk of the show is made up of those moments, all tied together in a sort of love story. You can spend hours trying to work out how he manages to do what he does, to no avail. There are subtle suggestions from him in his patter about how he does it, but mostly the tricks defy explanation.There’s also plenty of audience participation, but it’s all pretty safe and over quickly with no lasting damage to anyone, and he manages it in a way that makes you forget those fears of being picked on by the comedian. Towards the end of the show people were readily volunteering to help and everyone seemed to feel part of the show, rather than the butt of the joke.It is mind-blowing, it is amazing, and it’s an entertaining way to spend an hour.
If you want a private one off performance from Chris and the chance to learn some of his secrets then you want to get bidding on the fantastic Air New Zealand charity auction for the wonderful charity Phab. You can find out more about it and bid on this one off exclusive opportunity over on ebay.
The Q Theatre’s Rangatira stage looked filled with copious amounts of props while, through the load speakers, the voice of Chris Cox gave us our first instructions of the evening.As I sat front row with my boyfriend I waited for others to join us but it seemed everyone felt safer one row back!Turns out at Fatal Distraction it doesn’t really matter where you sit at this interactive show.Chris burst on stage with enormous energy and announces that he is a mind reader who can’t read minds. This should be interesting!His pace is fast and he moves around the stage in a manic gazelle like fashion hopping from spot to spot. It’s all very distracting in a charming way, but I guess that’s the point.The hour show features lots of twists and turns through the narrative of a love story. Some mind trickery is revealed early on while others are left long enough for you to forget all about them until the end of the show.Chris interacts effortlessly with his crowd and makes everyone feel at ease as he works around the audience and welcomes some lucky folk on to his stage.This is a variety performance with one liners, visual jokes, audience participation and good old fashion magic and mentalism!Chris is a truly talented individual who even informs us at the start of his show that his witty chit chat, magic, psychology, body language, influencing, devilish good looks… and lying will make us think he knows what we’re thinking. Even though he doesn’t, or does he? See I am confused again!I did get my chance to be in the show and earn my self my very own Mind Reader badge as did TV3’s David Farrier, so you really never know who will end up part of this sorcery.After the show I went to the ladies and overheard a conversation between two women who were just desperately trying to work out how he had done it.That’s the gift of Chris Cox’s Fatal Distraction, it keeps you guessing long after it’s finished and may just make you believe in magic!