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Review: No Hero with Stuart Lightbody at The Shambles

Review By: Tatum Stafford

As the crowd were cordoned into The Shambles tent at the Pleasure Garden on opening night of ‘No Hero with Stuart Lightbody’, a few of us had already had a lucky interaction with this Capetown-raised magician. Greeting everyone with a smile as we queued to enter, Stuart was ever the gentleman as he made his way along the line, and made everyone feel welcome and ready for the magical performance that awaited us.

The premise of the show centres around superheroes – or more specifically, some of Stuart’s personal heroes, who are great magicians of the past.

The first half of the show relies on more traditional magic, utilising a standard deck of cards to perform some truly incredible tricks. A clear highlight is a segment where Stuart explains he has taught himself self-hypnosis techniques to enable him to memorise an entire deck of cards in a short period of time. Given a 40 second time limit by a volunteer from the audience, we watched as he expertly surveyed the splayed deck of cards, and marvelled when he was able to easily recall specific cards within the deck, and name a long run of cards with no faults.

Stuart is known for his exceptional sleight of hand abilities, and this is made extremely evident in a teabag routine he performs in which a lemon, hot tea and multiple teabags seem to appear from nowhere. It was a moment which had the entire audience (token sceptics included) eating out of the palm of his hand.

The final act was nothing short of astonishing. Without giving too much away, Stuart completes an act with a voodoo doll, a handful of needles, a stretch of thread and his mouth. The entire crowd was in awe as he performed this grand finale, and it definitely affirmed this show as a frontrunner out of all magic shows in the coveted 7:45pm timeslot at the Perth Fringe Festival.

All in all, Stuart’s magnetising charisma and charming ability to get his audience onside and happy to participate is one of the reasons that this show is so great. There was truly something for everyone, and it was refreshing to see such a master of his craft up close and personal in such an intimate Fringe World venue. Don’t miss this seasoned professional this year!

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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