stuart The first thing that struck me as I walked into the Arena Theatre at Artscape last night was how un-theatre people the audience was. Theatre audiences are a specific kind of somebody, and I normally recognise or know a few people in the crowd. last night I knew one person, and I had never seen him at a play before. We were there to watch magician Stuart Lightbody’s new show, Telling Lies.

I have seen Stuart at least three times before and I have always marvelled at his skill and this show is no different in that respect. He is a super smooth sleight of hander, and he is super cool and sweet with his patter too. It really is like watching a charming, intelligent, sweet talking schoolboy talk you into buying a sick elephant and believing that you need it more than anything else in the world.

His powers of autosuggestion are superb, and while he glibly glides through the demystification of all things magic and supernatural, and explains trickery, lies and deception, he is busy, gently pulling the wool (or in my case blindfold) over our eyes! I got called up last night, was blindfolded, told to think about a few people (or something), while he spoke to the audience and chose three people with three playing cards. Then, miraculously, he got me to say what the three cards were! I have no idea how he did that. The audience was flummoxed and totally impressed, but not quite as impressed as I was!

That was in the first half. The second half was more complicated, and my friend figured out how he did the final trick. Still, it didn’t take away from this young man’s charm and mastery. He is the real deal, and nothing like those creepy magicians you remember from children’s parties when you were small. He’s on at The Arena for the rest of this week!