Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Blink and you'll miss it
Overall rating: ★★★★★ Date attended: 19/02/2019
Ben Hart walks on stage and with his mesmerising eyes, his whimsical smile, and his innate intellect, he is able to almost instantly have his audience members intrigued and sufficiently delighted!
Starting off his show, Hart presents a sealed envelope to an audience member and tells them to keep it safe till the end of the show. What ensues, moving forward, is a galloping sensation of illusions, tricks, and well-set out moments of disbelief. Basing his show on the butterfly effect (where a seemingly small action can result in a huge consequence later on), Hart is able to connect the dots through his show's small components to create something that is not only jaw-droppingly spectacular, but also makes you question the wonders of life and how it can turn out to be something as a result of something else that didn't seem as important initially but ended up being a big part of a decision-making process in the end.
With a simple set up on stage that involves a blackboard, a table, and a couple of props here and there, Hart is able to seamlessly challenge the comfort zone of his audiences, as he plucks them up in a random order, to leave them breathless and in awe, as he uses their suggestions, their thoughts, and their abilities to add to the uniqueness of his show.
You see the classic card tricks that still appeal greatly to audiences. Shuffling cards that reveal numbers in the exact order that was randomly generated by audiences? What about holding a deck of cards that get smaller with each shuffle? What about dialling a number from a deck of cards that leads you to someone you know? Yup, it's a classic magician's prop, but with a signature Hart twist. Of course, you also get to experience something slightly unsettling but strangely satisfying. Ever thought you'd be able to get an egg from a handful of confetti? Heck, did you ever consider winning a diamond at a magic show? Only Hart can you show how and you won't be able to look away.
Interconnecting a number of elements into his show, Hart is able to bring stories from his life into the show in some way or the other, which makes it incredibly personable and relatable. You don't want to question it, but rather revel in the mystery surrounding how Hart is able to make things appear out of thin air or vanish in plain sight. Each and every act that is performed by Hart leaves the audience astonished and gobsmacked - and for all the right reasons! The man sure knows his way around creating masterful illusions and possibly the most prominent and memorable part would be the finale, which is based on the idea of Chicago housewife Frances Glessner Lee's artwork. Famously known for outlining a crime in perfect detail to be studied, analysed, and convict those that are guilty - all in the same piece, Hart is able to replicate a specific masterpiece that will make you question everything in the universe and whether everything you experience in Hart's show is the alternate universe that we all yearn to be a part of.
Hart's show encompasses a range of different parts, which are all connected together and end up coming full circle towards the end of the show, in the form of an encore that leaves every single person in the audience gasping in stunned silence. It really is one of those shows where you need to see it, to believe it, because it is filled with these tricks that seem impossible and unthinkable and yet, Hart beautifully presents us with something that is so priceless in retrospect, given his mad talent of combining charm, intellect, and skill.
Using his repertoire that involves a confident composure and a calming, soft-spoken voice, Hart is able to create an atmosphere of an enigma, mystery, and anticipation, as he crafts the perfect illusion in front of you, whilst narrating an engaging story from his life, which makes each act all the more memorable. There are some that will make you feel uneasy and queasy, and there are others that will make you feel like you've been caught off guard, but they will all be delivering a level of showmanship and detail that goes into each of his props, tricks, and inspirations.
This young, charismatic magician with the most adorable smile has some serious talent rolled up his sleeve. In a nutshell, he bleeds magic, he cries magic, and he is the essence of magic.
Whether you're a sceptic or are after something that will blow your mind, Ben Hart will become your new favourite illusionist and all-rounder top bloke to see at this year's Adelaide Fringe. Book your tix here.