This close-up magic show is spectacular without containing any spectacle, with Siegfried Tieber’s storytelling engaging an audience in not only the individual tricks, but in our society’s broader understanding of mystery, illusion, and what it means to live with curiosity. Tieber’s mindreading and sleight of hand tricks challenge our confidence – if we see something, it must be real, mustn’t it? Similar to Complicite’s The Encounter (currently part of the Edinburgh International Festival, which cleverly reveals the mechanism in the binaural sound design), Magiko seemingly shows how the trick is made and then quickly, and astoundingly, expands the magic into a place where your mind wasn’t looking. These tricks of perception which have been used for ages by magicians and illusionists, are increasingly relevant to science, and scientific research work on phantom limbs, synaesthesia, neurological disorders, etc. While many successful magicians, such as Penn & Teller (who have engaged with the neuroscience behind their work) use illusions to wow their audiences, Tieber uses the set up to the illusion, as well as the denouement, to make us reconsider why we want to know how it works. Turning scientific and rational inquiry on its head, Tieber encourages us to live in a world that is not fully understood, and seek mystery and magic in our own lives.
MAGIKO, Siegfried Tieber & Dog House Theatricals, 9-31 August, Spotlites
This venue is not accessible for wheelchair users. Please contact venue for other accessibility requirements. https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/magiko
Complicite’s The Encounter: http://www.eif.co.uk/2015/encounter#.VccpwlxVikp
Penn & Teller on Magic & The Brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZg1KDEMzjo
On phantom limbs and perception: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15938103
Vincent Gambini (another great close-up magician): http://www.vincentgambini.com/the-show.html