September 29, 2012 Chris Cox

Bristol Culture – Fatal Distraction Review

In Bristol, you can’t throw a small ferret dressed in a woolly jumper the kind that James from The Great British Bake-Off would wear without it landing in the lap of a former teacher sitting in the third row. Not in the Tobacco Factory Theatre at least, especially not on a rainy Monday evening in September.

Born in Bristol and living in the city until he finished university, Cox (right) calls himself “the mind reader who can’t read minds”, but this is doing a huge disservice to a young man still in his early 20s who has become an Edinburgh Festival regular and wowed global audiences.

It’s a shame that last night was his only show in Bristol, because it was absolutely superb, in the vein of Derren Brown combining magic, psychology, body language, influencing and downright lying.

It also involved the best feats of memory I have ever seen.

Cox memorised both yesterday’s Post (“Who stole the Evening?” he asked incredulously) and an Edinburgh programme from several years ago, being able to name crossword clues from the newspaper and read out Richard Branson’s credit card number from an advert when told the page an audience member was holding.

This was an astonishing show, with its very nature meaning that much of its content cannot be revealed. On this form, however, the manic and freakishly talented Cox will not be throwing ferrets into former teachers’ laps for much longer. At least not on a rainy Monday in September.

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