MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Lawrence Leung’s Very Strange Things’

Nearing the end of my MMF jaunt of 33 magic shows in two weeks (HA!), I was particularly keen to see Lawrence Leung’s show. Not only had I heard great things about this show, but I’d missed previous iterations of it in other festivals so I was determined not to miss out this time!

The theatre was packed – Lawrence clearly has many fans, and being known in various different media formats and circles (TV, science, pop culture to name a few) – no doubt assists this. Lawrence appeared to raptuous applause and opened his show with some jokes, in his usual affable style. I didn’t know quite what to expect during this show, but I was pleased to find it contained much magic and mystery alongside some elements of psychology. At times the show was part magic, part educational as Lawrence mentioned psychological theories along with theories on the ‘seances’ of older times (far too much detail to discuss here). In terms of the magical portions of the evening, they were often displayed as mysteries – like being able to decipher the passcode on someone’s phone and some (zener) card predictions, and even magic with a Rubik’s cube.

If you’re thinking that a show about mysteries and psychology would get a bit ‘dry’ / boring / too much like a lecture then you’d be 100% WRONG regarding this show! Aside from Lawrence seemingly like one the friendliest performers, the audience were also treated to some hilarious ‘throwback’ pictures of a younger Lawrence. So refreshing to see someone being able to laugh at themselves in front of a large audience. Coupled with some unintended comedic pieces involving an audience member’s phone, this show did have some great laughs.

At points during the show, Lawrence mentioned being ‘skeptic but not cynical’ which I liked and thought it’s a clever way to look at magic too because I’m sure cynics wouldn’t end up getting value from a magic show. I enjoyed Lawrence’s comments regarding mystery, and I’m a self confessed lover of mystery so I thoroughly enjoyed that piece of the show. Lawrence’s show ended with some powerful effects that left many audience members gasping, alongside plenty of applause and cheers for what was an immensely enjoyable show. This was a very strange magic show in some ways but that made it more wonderful too.

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