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Doug Segal: How to Read Minds and Influence People
Published on Tuesday, 26 June 2012

ImageThe Gilded Balloon
Cabaret
2-12, 14-27 Aug, 7:00pm-8:00pm 

Amiable mind-reader Doug Segal certainly influenced people at last year’s Fringe.  His debut run in Edinburgh played to packed houses, with his mind-reading trickery earning him a whole load of thoroughly bamboozled new fans.  Back now in a much larger venue, Segal’s style of mental magic invites comparison to Derren Brown, but there’s none of Brown’s portentous self-importance; instead, expect chipper patter, and a warming dose of happy-go-lucky charm.

We dropped in on Segal’s show at last year’s Brighton Fringe, and enjoyed both his easy humour and his intelligent chicanery.  Joshing kindly with his willing volunteers, Segal plucked words from sealed envelopes and pictures from unseen pages – and even, in his signature trick, helped some of his audience read each other’s minds.  According to Segal, it’s all made possible by his keen eye for body language, and his former career in the dark arts of advertising.  Using trigger words and subliminal images, he claims, he can lead us along without our knowing it… heading straight for the answers he’d always planned.

That’s not quite the whole truth, of course – but a showman as skilful as Segal is entitled to a little overstatement of his own powers.  Despite the changed title, we understand a lot of the material is the same as last year, though return customers will still see a few new tricks together with a general makeover.  In any case, we think you’ll leave with a smile on your face – and, if you pay attention, at least one trick you can use to confound your friends.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2012 Five Stars

5 stars Comedy
Totally Tom


5 stars Comedy
The Magical Adventures of Pete Heat


5 stars Theatre
Bye Bye World


5 stars Comedy
Barbershopera: The Three Musketeers


5 stars Comedy
Truth


5 stars Theatre
The House of Shadows


5 stars Cabaret
Briefs


5 stars Theatre
Made for Each Other - Free


5 stars Comedy
Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive


5 stars Comedy
Ivo Graham and Liam Williams


5 stars Comedy
Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff


5 stars Comedy
The Blanks' Big Break


5 stars Theatre
A Clockwork Orange


5 stars Comedy
Richard Wiseman: Psychobabble


5 stars Comedy
Martin Mor: A Man You Donít Meet Everyday


5 stars Theatre
1984


5 stars Comedy
Swedenborg, the Devil and Me


5 stars Theatre
The Trench


5 stars Theatre
Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut


5 stars Theatre
Joyced!


5 stars Theatre
An Evening With Dementia


5 stars Comedy
Scott Agnew: Tales of the Sauna


5 stars Theatre
Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke


5 stars Comedy
Chris Ramsey: Feeling Lucky


5 stars Comedy
The Horne Section - Live at the Grand!


5 stars Theatre
How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found


5 stars Theatre
The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle


5 stars Theatre
Songs of Lear


5 stars Cabaret
Jonny Woo: Wonder Woo-Man


5 stars Comedy
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure


5 stars Comedy
10 Films With My Dad


5 stars Theatre
4.48 Psychosis


5 stars Theatre
As You Like It


5 stars Theatre
Appointment With The Wicker Man


5 stars Comedy
Jessie Cave: Bookworm


5 stars Comedy
Morgan & West: Lying, Cheating Scoundrels


5 stars Theatre
Hearts on Fire


5 stars Theatre
Rainbow


5 stars Comedy
Chris Dangerfield: Sex Tourist


5 stars Comedy
Chris McCausland: Not Blind Enough


5 stars Theatre
Chatroom


5 stars Comedy
Peacock & Gamble Don't Even Want To Be On Telly Anyway


5 stars Theatre
I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I'm Afraid to Tell You


5 stars Comedy
John Robertson - The Dark Room - Free


5 stars Kids'
Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger