Illusionist Simon Coronel captivated with Glitches in Reality.

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PERFORMANCE
Simon Coronel: Glitches in Reality
3.5 Stars
Black Flamingo
REVIEW: Bernadette Neeling

Illusionist Simon Coronel captivated with Glitches in Reality.

Coronel conjured up a mix of mystery, methods, and entertainment for an audience so attentive that, according to the performer, the Hoff could have driven unnoticed through the Black Flamingo tent.

By using humour to relax his audience, he opened them up to be surprised. He alternated between revealing his secrets, to dazzling with simple tricks designed to excite the same awe as Escher's impossible objects.

Playful anti-illusions, goofs and school-yard magic tricks combined with friendly audience interactions and a modest persona made Simon Coronel extremely likeable.

The objects used in his illusions were sometimes allegorical, sometimes absurdly mundane. Balls teleported, soy sauce bottles grew, Rubik's cubes were solved orally, thumbs detached and audience members discovered their own abilities. He explained many of the principles deployed and even repeated some tricks over and over until it was apparent what the trick was.

Despite a joke about his poor stage management, probably to cover for some almost-quicker-than-the-eye action, there is no denying Coronel was clever, cool and in control.

It was his sophisticated wit that impressed me more than his sleight of hand - but then I was usually stressed with trying to figure out how the illusionist was exploiting the glitches in our primate brains.

While his finale felt like a bit of an afterthought and didn't quite change the way this sceptic "sees life itself", it was great to see a magic show that, rather than feeling like a series of feats, really flowed and felt like a whole work.

Simon Coronel: Glitches in Reality runs until February 16.