MMF 2018 Review: “Personal” performed by Vincent Kuo

I was extremely excited to see Vincent Kuo’s debut show at the 2018 Melbourne Magic Festival, titled “Personal”. I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect from this magic show – all I knew was that every single friend who had seen it over the course of the week were all imploring me to go see it. Slipping in to see it on the closing evening of the show run, I was not prepared for the evening of magic that was to unfold.

Vincent himself is a 19 year old magician and Rubik’s cube prodigy. Appearing meekly on stage, Vincent’s show was as much about personal stories from his own family life as much as it was about magic. The stories evoked stronger emotions from the audience as the show progressed. The magic itself was phenomenal and extremely sleek at times, and in other moments it was designed to shock and surprise. At various points during his show, Vincent invited members of the audience up to assist him on stage – whether it be mixing up a Rubik’s cube or shuffling and inspecting cards. Vincent was always happy to have people close on stage to watch the magic unfold as they could verify to the rest of the audience what was happening with total objective certainty. Often, the magic occurred with such speed that the audience gasped with delight and surprise. There were times that the magic was so swift (like the changing of a card) that I almost missed the magical moment!

My favourite moment of the show (aside from the finale) was a sideshow marvel (rather than a piece of magic). I won’t give away exactly what that marvel was but it had me leaning forwards, practically balancing on the edge of my seat in order to get a better view – I was transfixed at this point and loved every minute! Vincent was also kind enough at this point to allow audience members enough time to reach the front the stage for a much closer look, which was appreciated as it also served as a mental ‘pause’ during the show.

As for the finale (which was Rubik’s cube based) it was moving, stirring, and quite phenomenal. Coupled with beautiful music, the audience was thrilled to be treated to a transformative routine featuring Rubik’s cubes. The ‘end scene’ as I shall call it was so unexpected and mind blowing that I’m pretty sure I should get my eyes checked in the near future! This show has a lot of latent emotions behind it, however, and I mentioned to my friend after the show that I didn’t know what I needed after the show – a good cry or some ice cream (or both). The emotions sneak up on you in this show, just like the magic does.

VERDICT: The hype surrounding this show was well justified. I cannot recommend this show highly enough (Rubik’s cube fans or not). Poetic, incredible and mystifying. This is an unforgettable magic show that will move you.

*Disclaimer: I attended this show as a guest of the performer.

**EDIT: if this review has tempted you to witness Vincent’s incredible magic for yourself, you can book Vincent as a magician at The BlackTies

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