Review – Quantum of Solace

An entranced Richard Bath watched this Edinburgh native’s magic show with slack-jawed amazement.

I’ve seen plenty of strange things at magic shows in Edinburgh, and once even found myself sitting in a performance at Summerhall behind one of the Orange Order foot soldiers whose march had made me late. The jovial Canadian magician made the mistake of asking the nice skinhead with a neck the size of Jabba the Hutt what the colourful haberdashery draped over audience member’s shoulder was. “That’s my ‘kin sash son. Sacred…” came the reply. Cue tumbleweed.

Memorable though that surreal cameo was, a recent and intimate performance from Kevin Quantum in gloriously over-the-top Versailles Suite at the Caley was at least on a par. A maximum of 30 people fit into this small room, meaning that you are within feet of Quantum and able to get up close to the tricks (indeed, there’s quite a lot of audience participation, although it’s all good-natured and non-confrontational).

Quantum is a good natured geek from Rosyth who gave up his physics PhD after appearing in Channel 4’s Faking It programme, where he had four weeks to see if he could convince an audience that he was a real magician. After a trip to Las Vegas for a crash course under the legendary Penn and Teller, Quantum was hooked. So, too, were the audience and the experts – he passed the audition with flying colours.

Astrophysics’ loss is our gain because Quantum is a consummate showman, with decent patter (especially if you like The Big Bang Theory) and magic tricks that make you roar you appreciation and approval. In particular, Quantum has gone down the historical rabbit hole and recreates the tricks that made Harry Houdini a famous magician before he became a kamikaze escapologist.

That, combined with tricks that are so close you strain to see where the deception occurs, make for a heady experience. I’m not going to ruin it for anyone who goes, but if you think what he can do with a coin and a pack of cards is amazing, wait til you see where he puts the beer bottle. Highly recommended.

10,17,24 June | 1,8 July | 6pm and 8.30pm | 60 mins duration

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