Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

The Chore of Enchantment

“Fitfully entertaining”
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Vincent Gambini’s previous show – called This Is Not a Magic Show even though it very definitely was one – combined sleight of hand with something more meta-theatrical and exploratory. It looked at the mechanics of the magic show, simultaneously resisting and embracing them.

In his new show, he attempts a similar trick. He claims to be struggling with “magician’s block” – what use is magic in a world in free fall? It’s just another way of hiding from reality.

Though seemingly preoccupied by the headlines on his phone, Gambini still manages to squeeze in a number of illusions. Coins and balls vanish and reappear. There are card routines and a rope trick. He performs one trick while wearing a sleeping mask. The amount of practice required to pull this stuff off seamlessly requires hours of seclusion: as he explains, magic can be isolating.

He’s clearly fascinated by the layers of deception inherent in any magic show – Gambini himself is the creation of Augusto Corrieri. The Chore of Enchantment has a dream-like circular structure – on a chair sits a script, which he occasionally consults, underlining the fact that magic is about repurposing the familiar. The last routine is particularly poetic. But his pessimistic anti-patter and rejection of spectacle, while conceptually intriguing, makes for a show that’s only fitfully entertaining.

Production Details
Production nameThe Chore of Enchantment
VenueUnderbelly Bristo Square
LocationEdinburgh
StartsAugust 1, 2018
EndsAugust 27, 2018
Running time1hr
AuthorAugusto Corrieri
Sound designerYas Clarke
CastVincent Gambini
ProducerSally Rose
VerdictThoughtful meta-theatrical magic show that doesn’t quite sustain itself over an hour
FacebookTwitterLinkedIn
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Natasha Tripney

Natasha Tripney

Natasha Tripney

Natasha Tripney

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Linked In
Pinterest
YouTube