"The S1L3NC3 is mostly golden"
by Andy Slater for remotegoat on 03/08/10

It may seem strange in an era where magic appears to be all about showmanship, bravado and smart talk to conduct a supposed mindreading display without speaking but that's exactly what S1L3NC3 does - and rather well.

The sole performer communicates only through gesture, flipcards and occasional whispers to unsuspecting audience members but manages to captivate by doing excruciating things with nails, something other than smoking with a cigarette and appearing to make glass break with his eyes. There is also a consummate display of managing to guess, or at least appear to, what audience members have written on a piece of paper or how many coins have been removed from a jar.

The identity of the slightly skeletal man on stage is not specified with no name in the programme or on the show's website which describes "sightings" of the trickster instead of performance dates and he leaves before the houselights go up at the end.

However he has similarities in style of the mute Teller, from the famous Las Vegas duo with his partner Penn, by silently capturing the audience's attention with excellent sleight of hand. But this obfuscation adds to the experience, together with a pumping soundtrack to accompany the magic, intermixed with snatches of muffled, overlapping voiceover.

One issue however is that many of the illusions are carried out around a small table at the front of the stage which often makes it difficult for the audience to see or fully understand what is happening - especially without oral clues and changing this aspect of the staging would bring a greater focus to these moments.

Aficionados of magic may have seen a few of the set-pieces elsewhere in other forms but there is a freshness about the show and at times you are left scratching your head as to how the spectacle has been pulled off. S1L3NC3 now has a run in Edinburgh and for any fans of individuals like Derren Brown, Pete Firman or Chris Cox he is certainly worth checking out as a worthy counterpoint.

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