As magicians and mentalists there is little wonder that Matt Tarrant and Vinh Giang have won Fringe awards for three years running. They truly do astound. As performers however, they lack any semblance of decent showmanship in their brand new show, Deception: More Deceit.
Technical issues aside, and there were many with the audio-visual equipment, this dynamic duo of magic are billed as a team but perform separately except for the finale. They alternate time on stage, amazing the audience with one sensational trick each between poorly timed, over long exits and entrances.
The show opens with a proud boast of their awards, meant as a gesture of gratitude to the audience but coming across as…well, a proud boast.
Each magic trick then involves prolonged audience participation, but none so painfully as the tedious opening routine which went far too long on Sunday night and was filled with too many flat jokes. It was a bad start that led to some improvement in timing and tightness but nowhere near enough to lift the show beyond what appeared to be an under-rehearsed amateur, performance. Tarrant also needs to learn to stand still and stop shuffling his feet when he speaks.
With no variation in pace, the flat-lined presentation regularly dragged and lacked any kind of build up to what should have been a sensational finale.
That said, Tarrant and Giang are undeniably skilled at their craft. There wasn’t a trick up their sleeve that didn’t amaze and delight when the payoff finally arrived. Every inexplicable mind trick left us confounded. From card tricks to hypnotism; magic numbers to human transposition, these guys could easily be the icing on the cake with a better recipe behind them.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 5: 2
Venue: Gluttony – The Lotus Palace, East Terrace, Adelaide
Season: 13 February – 15 March 2015
Duration: 1 hour
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)