Perhaps the greatest trick achieved by scientist turned magician Kevin Quantum is his ability to be in two places at once; well, perhaps not literally, but while most performers find it sufficient to appear in one show during the Fringe, perhaps popping up as a guest in a showcase of an evening, Quantum is once again appearing in two full runs of contrasting theme.
And For My Next Trick 2 being the followup to his 2017 crowdpleaser, that is a more traditional presentation of stage magic while as the audience step into the Neon Future of the top floor of the Gilded Balloon’s Patter Hoose on Chambers Street, a venue until recently associated with another major promoter, they will find themselves subjects in something more experimental.
“The scientist is hesitant, the magician will do anything for a good trick” he observes, and with health and safety assessments consigned to the vanishing cabinet Quantum explores “irreversible processes,” which involve inviting members of the audience on stage to trigger explosives with a disturbing eagerness which borders on gleeful.
Against a backdrop of futuristic skyscrapers lit against a darkened sky, his electric pink shirt matching the randomising flamingo which flies high to select his stage assistants without bias, as with any such act there is misdirection, not to conceal how he achieves his effect but in the outcome, never quite what is expected but always surprising and delightful.
The Neon Future involving mind-reading television sets and a new twist on a classic trick as Quantum’s home-made transporter pad performs a simultaneous physics experiment and magic trick, the stated aim is “to show you magic that you haven’t seen before,” and in that he succeeds.
From theories of the future to the touch of a digital ghost performing the infamous “spooky action at a distance” to the genuinely anxious finale, the more traditional smells of sulphur and cordite filling the air, the Neon Future confirms Kevin Quantum’s standing as a Fringe fixture, both reliable and innovative.