Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Chris Cook: Truth or Dare

by -

Mind reading and close-up magic have expanded so rapidly in recent years that they have easily outpaced the business’ ability to come up with new tricks in what was already a very narrow genre. Numbers, colours, cards, inside leg measurements or what is in your pocket, it can be a challenge for magicians to stand out.

Enter Chris Cook. He does all that and more, but rather than stretch our credibility or patience by endlessly stringing out a trick, the Lake District magician cheekily appeals to our imagination by bringing in an extra level of humour to the proceedings and making the audience an integral part of the act. He bills himself as “the first ever fully interactive magic show”, and he is not far wrong.

He connects with the audience even before the show has begun by coming out to marshal the queue that snakes all the way around the Voodoo Rooms block – a turn-out for a free show that the paid-for venues would kill for. By the time everyone has taken their seats in the packed venue, they are already laughing and more than ready for a show.

Selecting a volunteer becomes a whole act in itself, where Cook works every row in the crowd with the slickness of a stand-up, creating routines with lobbing rolled up posters and heads-or-tails flipping which are as elaborate as his actual tricks and just as effective. Onstage, the truth or dare element pops up as the public take over the tricks and catch Cook by genuine surprise, much to the amusement of all.

With Cook discovering the unpredictable in the predictable, the fun is knowing that every uproarious night will be a unique experience.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Cheeky magician works the crowd with stand-up slickness