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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Buxton 2013 arrow Oliver Meech: When Magic And Science Collide
Oliver Meech: When Magic And Science Collide
Published on Monday, 08 July 2013

3 starsReviewed by Richard Stamp
Underground Venues
Run ended

A head-on collision between magic and science is a spectacle I’d pay good money to see.  Oliver Meech’s show doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its title – it’s more a case of magic and science apologetically bumping into each other – but he still delivers an amusing hour of deception, with a few moments of true wonderment thrown in along the way.

Dressed in a spotless lab coat, Meech certainly looks like the mad professor of the conjuring world, but it’s a concept I found sadly under-used.  There was one experiment with a jar of rice which wouldn’t be out of place in the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, but otherwise there wasn’t much of a “science bit”: the connections to the theme were occasionally tenuous, and tended to complicate the set-up for the magic tricks.  It’s a shame, because his choice of trademark is an interesting one, but I don’t think it’s quite working yet.

I felt, too, that the show could have used a little more material; on occasion the pace grew mood-sappingly slow.  At times though, Meech shows a beautiful warmth and charisma, especially in his solicitude towards the younger members of his audience.  His ice-breaking warm-up routine worked well, and his “volunteers” seemed at ease and clear about what they were expected to do.

And in the end, when you’re reviewing a magic show, you’ve really got to focus on the magic.  The magic here, I thought, was pretty good.  There was a little bit of clumsiness with props, and true egg-heads can have fun figuring out how a couple of the tricks are done, but there were also a handful of creative twists and some moments of genuine surprise.  Both kids and grown-ups gasped on cue and the show worked up to a satisfying, entertaining finale.

In time, I hope, Meech’s show will evolve into a genuine melding of magic and science.  But even till then, it’s worth a shot; he’s a likeable guy, and when all’s said and done, I liked his magic too.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Buxton 2013.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.