Ben Hart: The Nutshell @ Studio 7 at Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide 27/2/2019

Ben Hart beat the heat and an unexpected glitch (nobody outside of last night’s show needs to know what it was), to surprise and delight audiences with an hour of masterful magic, conjuring and illusion.

There was no trick thumb or latex to trick the viewer’s eye, and if there was, Ben Hart is a magician so much on top of his art that even the most cynical viewer walked out of Studio 7 at The Garden of Unearthly Delights with a sense of child-like awe. That bemused state of “how did he do that?” is probably the most satisfying state you can walk out with from a magic show.

The Nutshell is probably the most extraordinary magic / illusion show at this year’s Fringe. Ben Hart delivers some of the cleverest tricks you could possibly imagine. You watch a non-descript shape transform into an egg. How do you conjure an egg from nothing? There is a night full of similar moments that I would love to enthuse about, especially the card tricks and illusions but it would be wrong to spoil the magic, so I reluctantly must resist.

This is the sort of show that you can sit down for hours afterwards trying to figure out how he managed to bamboozle his wildly appreciative audience.

The most satisfying thing about this show is that unlike a lot of other similar shows which just go from one trick to another, Ben Hart manages to weave comedy and philosophical musings about The Big Bang, Chance Theory, Existentialism, The Butterfly Effect and Forensic Science into an engaging narrative. He literally and figuratively weaves disparate threads into a very pleasing whole.

In a Nutshell, this is an engaging show that will have you gasping with delight and scratching your head with awe. Above all, you will warm to Ben Hart’s affable friendly persona who genuinely enjoys being on stage and has a warm rapport with the audience.

The Adelaide heatwave may have been unbearable and glitchworthy, but Ben Hart is one very cool performer.

If you have never seen a conjuring or illusion show before – see this show, it’s a wonderful introduction to the world of magic.

If you are seasoned viewer of illusion shows – you must see this young magician who puts a fresh spin on tricks and has got charm, wit, intellect and very clever and funny banter to make this one of the best shows at The Fringe.

Fringe Review By Bob Becker

For tickets, show dates and times for Ben Hart: The Nutshell head to Fringe-Tix.

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