Thursday, August 7, 2008

Guy Hollingworth at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Guy Hollingworth is an English conjuror known for his skillful card magic and elegant performing style. He created a sensation in the magic community with his trick The Reformation, in which a signed playing card is torn into four pieces and then visibly restored one piece at a time. He is well known for his acclaimed book, Drawing Room Deceptions. Some of his card magic is also featured in his videos The London Collection and Routines. He was also featured on NBC's "World's Greatest Magic III" TV special.

Hollingworth is currently performing "Expert at the Card Table" at the Assembly's 2008 season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August. The show contains deception, betrayal and cheating at cards. Renowned conjurer Guy Hollingworth performs dazzling exhibitions of card chicanery and incomparable legerdemain whilst unraveling the mystery of its enigmatic author.

Here is a review:
"This show is a curious but clever story within a story. Contained in a tight set, the audience is cast back to yesteryear, in this case, to 1902. Guy Hollingworth is both narrator and card manipulator, telling the story of a poor boy named Milton Andrews who became liberated by developing a talent to manipulate cards. Bound to a school friend who was everything Milton wasn't - handsome, slim, athletic and wealthy - the friend helped Andrews develop extraordinary card tricks and wrote a book describing their achievements, Expert at the Card Table. Unfortunately, Andrews drifted into cheating at poker, heavy drinking and eventually murder.

Hollingworth, dressed to the nines in tails and shoes that shine like diamonds, tells the story in a gentle patter, as if chatting from an armchair. His performance is almost magnetic, especially when demonstrating some incredible card manipulations. The overall effect of story, stage and performance weaves a charming spell through some ghastly acts by Andrews during his short career as a card hustler. It's an ingenious way to present card sharking and easily achieves its objectives.

Anticipating a series of card tricks, the conventional approach to this subject, the show was a pleasant and riveting experience having wonderful card dealing a part of a story involving people and places. The Wildman Room was packed, perhaps by the twofer ticket offer, and the audience loved this show even though it felt like a sauna. Be sure to get a seat in the centre to fully appreciate all the tricks..

A thoroughly original and clever show of card sharking, providing an invaluable lesson why you should never sit down to play poker with strangers who shuffle the cards before dealing a hand."
- Fringe Review by Kerry

Guy Hollingworth