Last week local sleight-of-hand artist Stuart Lightbody presented a series of shows at The Intimate Theatre in Cape Town in a second run of his sell-out show (it was previously held at the Kalk Bay Theatre last year). Stuart's forte is cards, hence the title, and he mesmerised audiences with his skillful manipulations. He found cards while blindfolded that audience members had previously chosen at random, he caused cards to disappear and reappear, and he demonstrated card-cheating techniques that would give any poker player playing against him great pause for thought and possibly some subsequent sleepless nights.
All the while Stuart's amiable nature kept the audience members at ease and enabled them to enjoy the show rather than worry that they might be picked for some sort of ridiculous, embarrassing effect, as is often the case with some performers whose more showy, upstaging natures override any technical ability they may have, leaving the audience members squirming in their seats and frantically attempting to activate invisibility shields so as not to stand out and potentially be chosen to participate. In Stuart's case, participation is half the fun.
Close-up magic demands an intimate setting and now that the very atmospheric Kalk Bay Theatre is struggling and only open for certain runs The Intimate Theatre is probably the best venue for a show such as this. Members of the audience were close to the action at all times and sections of the performance that required the use of a table were projected onto a screen so that everyone could have a clear view of what was happening.
Judging by the audience's reactions Stuart is sure to become a crowd favourite in Cape Town and I urge you to keep an eye open for announcements of upcoming shows.