The Spiegeltent in the ‘London Wonderground’ is the home of an unconventional variety of performances which seemingly could leave the audience ‘spellbound’. Located on the Southbank of the River Thames, with beautiful views of Big Ben and the Millennium Eye, is a mini festival which is tucked away in one of the busiest areas of the metropolitan city. The only attraction from outside the tent being two rather attractive ladies scantily clothed wearing burlesque costumes and feather boa’s. Behind the women is a circus arena which has a real festival vibe; cider bars surrounding the area, music thumping through the showground and punters wearing eccentric clothing. However one good thing – not a portaloo in sight!
Before showing your ticket to enter the Spiegeltent (a travelling tent which is made from wood and contains lots of mirrors) you are greeted by the people who actually perform in the show, but of course you do not realise this until later. ‘Oh! Oh! Oh! It’s Magic!’ is an ingenious collaboration between magic and comedy. This was not solely a magic show, which surprised me due to the name. It was mainly a travelling circus of performers who were really comedians trying to do magic tricks. Some of the performers had more tricks than others, but with the carefully located cider bars in the auditorium, everyone seemed to be participating with the ‘ooh’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’. The main magic which was shown was through card tricks, some of these were fairly impressive. It involved a great deal of audience participation which kept everyone captivated.
The entertainers had a very modest performance style; acting as if their tricks were not going to work, and they all acted slightly nervous. This meant that every time the magic was revealed the audience was surprised and impressed even if the trick itself was not that impressive. Their performance style was a cunning way to trick the audience into thinking they were not going to complete the trick properly which made it a lot more captivating and they received a bigger applause. Additionally the slightly controversial and tongue in cheek humour, helped to create a very clever show which had several different elements mixed into it to create this work of art. There were six performers, one was a mind reader, most were comedians, and a couple had some cards tricks to amaze the audience with. One performer who really stuck in my mind throughout the show was a contortionist called ‘Kriss Kross’ from Newcastle who could bend his body in such unnatural ways that people were leaving half way through as it was incredibly gut-wrenching. I found him very compelling to watch as I had never seen anything like that before with my own eyes, only on television where there is always a suspicion that it has been edited. Other performers did the obvious magic tricks such as pulling rabbits from a hat, card tricks and pulling big objects from small suitcases but I think the real magic came from Kriss Kross, he was the highlight for me.
I realised after the show that Kriss Kross was in fact the one who tore my ticket; it made me feel differently to those performing. I could not believe he was the guy who tore my ticket and who had a laugh with me before I entered the arena. He was just an ordinary guy who had this amazing ability to appear almost ‘superhuman’. I had been so mesmerised by what his body was capable of, as it was so extraordinary and peculiar that I was captivated by him. They really are just ordinary people. We assume that those with special abilities, such as magic, contortion, strength and talent are completely different to us. However, they are not. Kriss Kross could be having a cup of tea, a cigarette, who knows? He could even be sitting at his laptop now looking at this blog. This show really has opened up my mind because of so many elements which it featured, I don’t know if it was even the magic, or the comedy or the arena itself but it makes you feel part of a community. You feel closer to those who you are usually watching on the stages, it truly is spellbinding.