Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Chris Cox: Control Freak ***

This show was introduced to me by a bloke with flyers who said "Have you heard of Chris Cox. He does all the stuff that Derren Brown does, but without being a W****r". (Chris Cox also alluded to Derren Brown in the show - so I don't apologise for my many references and comparisons with Mr Brown contained within this review).

This opening pitch caught my attention, but also put me off at the same time. I quite like Derren Brown. I read his book and found it very informative and enjoyable.

Never the less a free ticket was forthcoming, (which was rather refreshing because I ended up paying for the first two shows that I saw), so I went along to see what it would be like.

The show wasn't bad. Most of the tricks worked, some nearly worked and one was completely given away by one of the volunteers. Not that anyone actually volunteered - he must use at least 15 audience members over the show (including me twice for small bits although I didn't have to get on stage thankfully). But overall he did rather well and his finale was quite impressive.

There were however two major downsides to the show for me.

Firstly, as someone who has watched all of Derren Brown's shows, I don't think he offered anything new. He's just doing the same tricks about three years later.

Secondly, as I mentioned previously, I have read Derren Brown's book so I pretty much know how he did every trick. There was nothing on show that I couldn't have explained to you.

He apparently sold out last year and I can see why as he is reasonably good at what he does. I've also never seen Derren Brown live; without the benefit of TV editing, so it could be argued that the above two criticisms are not entirely fair as it's not a level playing field.

If I'd never seen Derren Brown I would have been very impressed. Unfortunately I have, and so has most of the population of the UK, which is a very big problem for Chris Cox to get around. He either needs to do something new or do it better than him which is a very hard task indeed.

This show is on daily in the Pleasance Above at 6.20pm


1 comment:

Colin Scott said...

In response to this review I received a nice message on facebook from Chris thanking me for coming to the show and writing about it.

I would like to clarify, the show was only a three star for me because I've actively looked into the techniques that he uses, so I have kind of take the magic and wonder out of the show myself.

I stand by what I said, but there is no reason to think that others won't enjoy it a lot more than I did because he's really likeable guy and it's a very well put together show.

Also, if you are going to see it, sit at the front. I sat at the back to avoid being picked out - but "volunteer" picking is done randomly, so where you sit doesn't really matter.

He uses so many peole in the show and only gives everyone a very small part each, so you certainly won't be made to feel silly.

I've wished him luck via facebook and I hope he has a very successful Fringe.