Despite the inherent secrecy and illusion of magic shows, Ben Hart has given everything away in the title. His tricks, stunts and misdirections will leave audiences with their mouths hanging open for an hour, struggling to comprehend how any of it is possible.
Ben Hart wanted to build a magic show which focused around a central theme, which is reflection and how we use it to perceive ourselves and others. One of the tricks that is central to the show, is his giant mirror, which he uses to show audiences how true magic works. The way it works is simple in logic, but not in style, it’s the idea that the object you’re looking at is not moving, the cards have not disappeared, but the audience have all collectively had their idea of reality altered and shaped. This may sound over the top, but the magic of Ben Hart will make you believe it, as there is no logic or rationale you can muster after witnessing any number of his wondrous tricks.
It is not only his magic that is flawless, his flair and showmanship are also crucial to the performance. With a blend of comedy and drama, Ben Hart has the audience watching intently, listening to his every word, which is probably helpful for the tricks involving misdirection. The dramatics perfectly partner with the truly incomprehensible magic tricks, even at the moments where you are dumbfounded, you think you can figure out the way the trick is going to go. Even if you do not believe he can do it, you try to apply logic to what could happen next, but Ben Hart takes his magic to the extreme, both in terms of difficulty and creativity. “Wonder” is expertly crafted, thought-out and performed by the incredible Ben Hart, and his style and talent make this one of the greatest shows of its kind you could hope to see at the festival.
Ben Hart: Wonder, 19:50, Pleasance Courtyard, August 21-28