Presented by Fascinating Lies
Reviewed on 26 February 2017
The Expert At The Card Table takes place around a small card table. There, Jden Redden shows us the art of card trickery as he divides the skills required into sleight of hand and mental manipulation.
A front row seat offers a great view of the show but Redden is still far too quick to be caught in the act, even when he tells us what he’s doing. Throughout we get the feeling that he’s always one step ahead of us.
A few tricks don’t quite go to plan, and Redden bashfully admits when this is the case. Where a street performer might weave this into the show or crack a few jokes, Redden lacks a showman’s flair and concentrates more on the craft of cardistry.
In between these tricks, we learn a little about the seminal text that gives the show its name. Self-published over a century ago by a mysterious author whose identity has never been uncovered, it’s been in print ever since and is still treated with reverence by cardsharps and gamblers. It’s an intriguing tale, and this storytelling aspect could be developed a little further.
Jdn Redden doesn’t do magic. He tells us so several times throughout The Expert At The Card Table as he shows us how to replicate some of the simpler tricks. When he gets to the more impressive feats of prestidigitation, he leaves us to wonder how he does them and I was certainly left short of answers. It may not be magic, but it’s still seriously impressive.
Reviewed by Alexis Buxton-Collins
Rating out of 5: 3
Venue: Room 2 at Tuxedo Cat
Season: Until 19 March
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $20-$23, Concession $15-$18