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NZ Fringe 2014
Mike Lindsay Magician

at Fringe Bar, 26 Allen St, Wellington
From 11 Feb 2014 to 12 Feb 2014

Reviewed by Michael Gilchrist, 12 Feb 2014

Auckland based Magician, Mike Lindsay, is upfront about his situation. He is eighteen and single. On the evidence of his show, Mayhem Ahead!, however, Lindsay can look forward to success in all his endeavours in the future.

This is a fairly traditional kind of presentation of some fairly traditional tricks. It is impressive, nevertheless, to see the degree to which Lindsay has mastered these elements at such a young age. There are, too, plenty of fresh touches and a wry sense of humour at work in the show.

Lindsay puts a big emphasis on working with the audience and he does this very successfully here with a Fringe Bar audience – a group who, no doubt, are a little different from those he encounters normally as a working magician.

His ability to establish rapport was also evident with respect to the animals involved. His dove Gizmo, for example, makes an enchanting contribution. If he isn't quite the mind reader that Lindsay claims, he seems to be on the same page as his handler to a quite uncanny degree. Nugget the rooster also deserves a mention.

In bringing this show to the Fringe I expect Lindsay is seeking to extend his experience, soak up some of Wellington's intense, ever so slightly post-modern, artistic atmosphere and find new ways to build on the basis he has established. He can make a start by coming up with an encore to satisfy the demands of an audience which thoroughly enjoys the show.

My only comment would be that I'm not sure he orders his material so it climaxes with the strongest illusions.  I think too there is room for him to trust more to his very good acting skills and to his narratives, bringing more of a contemporary satirical edge to some of his stories. This is something he hints at with the surprise appearance of a kumara, or his very well-worked illusion based around a history of drinking. There is no reason why magic can't be the icing on Lindsay's theatrical cake. 

So, if you enjoy a very deft mix of banter and bafflement in the perfectly cavernous but intimate setting of the Fringe Bar, don't miss this bright young talent. Wizard!
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