Kevin Quantum has come a long way in his hybrid career, and also very little distance; where three years ago Quantum Magic was performed in a cramped, sweaty upstairs room filled with plastic chairs at Teviot before Illuminations moved to a larger and more airy room in the same building, also upstairs with plastic chairs, now Vanishing Point has moved around the corner to part of the University of Edinburgh’s medical school complex.
An actual theatre with proper seating, his new show fully warrants the upgrade and it shows in Quantum’s easy confidence, not only in his name projected in light on the black backdrop but when he takes the stage, comfortable that his magic has never been better, yet despite that assurance it is not he who dominates proceedings so much as the most menacing harmonic pendulum ever constructed, towering above the stage even when fastened in safety mode.
A physicist turned illusionist, Quantum’s dual career informs his performance with members of the audience selected randomly to ensure no collusion is possible, and while the show may be entitled Vanishing Point yet it is as much about making things appear as disappear, though a large section is informed by his childhood fascination with the Bermuda Triangle.
Incorporating modern technology into his act to keep some traditional tricks relevant to a modern audience, he has added a video camera linked to a large screen to allow him to perform card and coin manipulations, but it is not all concealment and controlled direction of attention, Quantum on occasion tweaking the nature of an object in plain sight, baffling the rational sense: there must be a mechanism, but what?
As befits his dual nature, sometime his demonstrations are entirely transparent to anyone with a working knowledge of science, extrapolations of the peculiarities of nature rather than an appeal to supernature, yet that does not make them any less startling or impressive, the primary emotional reaction of wonder even though the marginally slower moving intellect analyses the underlying cause and effect.
Conditioning his audience to respond to a specific stimuli then exposing a generational divide when the trigger is pulled before finally unleashing the harmonic pendulum, mesmerising yet entirely predictable when the patterns which govern it are comprehended, it is a simple yet stunning finale to another brilliant show.