Dom Chambers confounded the crowd and himself in 'RanDom'
During his show, Dom Chambers makes reference to a poll that found magicians were the least dateable entertainers (really? In a world where mimes still exist?). There seems to be a kind of endemic low self-esteem that plagues most modern magicians, Chris Angel and that box bloke notwithstanding.
Chambers uses this trait to careful dramatic effect to set up gags that you think didn’t work, until they pay off later in the show. It feels like a comedian’s approach to magic, which is really what it is: Chambers is one half of sketch duo Dom & Dumber, so he understands what it means to connect with an audience and craft a show.
RanDom tackles magic and illusion through a range of artistic lenses. One great routine is set to a bed of acoustic guitar loops, casting light on the relationship between musical and magical rhythm. Another involves the use of an iPhone as the ‘magic box’ holding a missing card. Another uses a very clever sequence of events and a blender to put an audience’s iPhone through hell. And a great routine builds on the pretence of creating the ultimate Tinder profile in order to pull off some truly ‘how did they do that?’ magic.
When you see magic as a kid, you take it as real. When you watch it as an adult, you need to give yourself over to a certain amount of disbelief. It helps to maybe have enough drinks in you to distract yourself from looking for the little misdirections that make the illusions happen.
That’s true of any magic show, but in RanDom’s case the humour is so expertly applied that it serves as another layer of misdirection that totally distracts cynics like myself from looking for the seams.
By Peter Hodgson