Jarred Fell HACK

Philip Carter Family Auditorium, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch

18/01/2018 - 27/01/2018


Production Details

For the past three years Jarred Fell has quickly become a Festival favourite and went on to win the Iron Chicken. This new show is daring, hilarious and mind blowing.

Having been travelling the south seas, and performing in over 20 cities and 10 countries, Jarred brings his brand new show to Christchurch for a strictly limited five night run. A show about tricking and hacking the system and audiences while they’re right in front of him.

Phillip Carter Family Auditorium at the Christchurch Art Gallery
18 – 22 January 2018

Theatre , Solo , Magic/Illusion , Comedy ,

55 mins

Manic, quixotic and full of innuendo

Review by Erin Harrington 21st Jan 2018

Jarred Fell is a mercurial, foul-mouthed, black-clad bogan stage magician who combines mentalism, card tricks and misdirection with scatological mayhem. Fell has been a popular act at previous World Buskers Festivals, winning the coveted ‘Iron Chicken’ award for the best New Zealand act in 2016.

This year’s show, Hack, focuses on bets, gambling and scams, and offers us a few hints on how not to get ripped off, even as we’re being blatantly manipulated. We start by bouncing an inflatable ball around the auditorium, as if we’re about to deliver a Lotto number, and this provides a springboard into a show filled with swift, dextrous tricks accompanied by obscenities and marked by handfuls of daintily thrown glitter. 

The Philip Carter Family Auditorium, with its tight tiered seating and clear sight lines, is an ideal space for this performance, and the night I attend we’re at capacity. The people in the front row will certainly be called on to ‘volunteer’ – if they didn’t pick this up, they should have known better – although the show is heavy on participation and everyone in the room is a potential mark. Those brought up as magician’s assistants are pretty game and soon the atmosphere is a little like that of a ribald bachelorette party in that brief window before everyone’s had too much Lindauer Fraise.

People who’ve attended Fell’s shows in previous years will recognise some of the set pieces that make up the core of the show, but this doesn’t undermine their impact. The impressive tricks are the anchor point for the comedy and not necessarily its end point.

This won’t be to everyone’s taste though: if you’re not okay with blue humour, a giant wobbly dildo being waved in your face like a magic wand, your head being licked, or being asked to slap Fell’s ass, then you should look to one of the Festival’s other offerings. I’m a card-carrying fan of bad swears, and so much of the delivery is good-natured – and often at Fell’s own expense – that, for me at least, the broad-spectrum offensive salvos don’t rub me up the wrong way, although that’s not a great mixed metaphor for a show built on innuendo. 

There are a few minor technical issues at the beginning, though; the sound’s foggy on both the introductory video, which I think is asking if we want to make a bet, and for the first five minutes Fell’s mic sounds like it’s been stuffed under a pillow. Something’s also lingering on the screen after the video’s finished, and it looks kinda crappy. I’m nit-picking, but so much of the pleasure in Fell’s performance is in his manic, quixotic delivery and its slick presentation that it’s a shame to slow it down or mess it up.


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