By Jay Menard
Combining magic and comedy can be tricky. You don’t want one to overwhelm the other, nor do you want to distract from the tricks with jokes. But David Eliot, in his show AMAZE, has almost found the perfect balance between the two and presents an entertaining show that’s a pleasure for all ages.
Eliot’s sleight-of-hand magic is elite level. Even in moments where he slows down his tricks and focuses the audience’s attention on the result, you’re still unable to see the moment of deception. That’s a real talent and one that takes years of dedication and practice to master.
He also ends on an exciting catch-the-bullet-in-the-mouth trick that he appropriately builds up for its potential danger and historical significance.
If there’s a fault, it’s that Eliot’s nervous energy can become distracting. But that’s a minor issue. With more practice and more experience, he’ll smooth out the jittery edges. In fact, at the end of the show, as he’s introducing the bullet trick, we see the poise and professionalism that he possesses. Earlier in the show, either by intent or by nerves, he presents himself as more jittery, more nervous, and it takes a little away from the final production.
It’s a comedy magic show and the jokes are, often, groan-worthy. But that’s part of the charm and appeal. Eliot is not the master of the dark arts, but more the cunning trickster. And, despite his young age, you can see that he’s well on the way to fulfilling his prodigious potential.
*** stars out of five
This review originally appeared on theatreinlondon.ca