S1L3NC3 (not his real name), who performed for a fascinated, largely student, audience at Keble’s O’Reilly Theatre on Monday evening is both a person and an idea. A child magician who developed a teenage fascination with psychological trickery is now maturing into an accomplished performer of a particularly dark form of “psychic magic”.
The opening was uneven and a little wordy, but once the magic kicked in, S1L3NC3 was in his element and gave a confident performance, dealing well with the occasional prop failure.
Drawing on influences as disparate as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and neuro-linguistic programming, this was a thoughtfully constructed show which made effective use of simple props, audience participation and a flying cat. (Although it has to be said that the unconventional uses of razor blades and staplers, whilst effective, were not for the faint-hearted.)
Everything was as transparent as possible, everything was achieved through nothing more than trickery, observation and misdirection and yet…
This was S1L3NC3’s first theatrical outing. He hopes to present a show in a professional venue (possibly the Playhouse) next summer. Provided he spends the intervening time polishing his delivery and his showmanship, S1L3NC3’s technical abilities and originality suggest that this is a performer whose progress will be worth following over the next few years.