For the love of magic
Sublime illusionist amazes with cards and coins
SHEER disbelief and cries of “no way!” filled the Spar Drama Centre on Thursday when Stuart Lightbody amazed the young Jongosi theatre goers with his impressive sleightof hand skills.
The 30y earold C ape Townbased magician was at Hilton College for the start of this weekend’s The Witness Hilt on Art s Festival.
Using nothing but a couple of packs of cards, four silver coins, needles and thread, a couple of books by Roald Dahl, who is a favourite author of his, and a silver bell, Lightbody kept his young audience — and the handful of older theatre goers, me included — completely spellbound in his sho w Illusive.
Using v olunteers fr om the audienc e he showed his skills, honed o ver the p ast 18 years, with a serie s of car d and c oin tricks, a painful looking needle illusion and some “psychic” vibr ations.
Banter with the audienc e is also a mus t for Lightbody, who said that he loves nothing more than creating “moments that are beautifully impossible, and sometime s impossibly beautiful”.
His illusions certainly baffle and bamboozle. W atching him, half of me w anted t o know how he did the trick s, but the other half was simpl y delighted by the magic of it.
Speaking t o Weekend Witne ss after the show, Lightbody said he was delighted with his first Hilton Festival show and the r eaction fr om the y oung audienc e, man y of whom cr owded ar ound him aft erwards t o ask f or a hug or an aut ograph.
“It will be int eresting t o see ho w older people r eact,” he added.
Illusive comes to Hilton following a successful run at this year’s National Arts Festival in Gr ahamstown.
“I created the sho w at the be ginning of 2013,” said Lightbody. “Since then it’s been to Grahamstown twice, to the Ams terdam Fringe Festival, the P rague F ringe Festival and the Fringe World Festival in Perth [Australia].
NEED T O KNO W Illusive is at the S par Drama Centr e at 5 pm t oday and 10 am t omorrow. Tickets ar e R17 0 at www.hiltonfestival.co.za “I started creating the show on my o wn, but lat er I br ought Tara [Notcutt, who also directs Undermined, another Hilton Festival mustsee] to develop the show further. She helped me t o create the mood and the theatre element s.”
Notcutt — director of Three Little Pig s, … Miskien and Mafeking R oad — and Light body clear ly ha ve a great working r elationship and ar e about to debut Lightbody’s newest production, Devilish, at the Cape Town Fringe Festival.
Asked ho w he came t o be a magician, Lightbody said that he sa w some gr eat magic growing up but w as also dr awn to the profession because a childhood friend was doing it.
“I was a bit sh y, so the perf ormance side of it r eally attracted me,” he e xplained.
“I also jus t like magic and I lik e people ... the human mind f ascinates me. I lo ve what I do and I hope that I’ll be doing it for another 50 y ears.”
Lightbody, w ho t eaches at the School of M agic in C ape Town, enjo ys watching other magicians playing in what he calls “the gap between reality and the imagination”,and among hisfavourites at the moment are British illusionist Derr en B rown and Americans Penn and Teller.
“Derren is not just a t elevision magician, he has a great live show, and Penn and T eller ha ve delivered some of the best li ve theatr e shows that Las V egas has seen, ” he added.
I’ve not been lucky enough t o see those men live, but I did see Stuart Light body this w eek and he’s a gem. Do yourselves a favour Hilton festinos, and check out his sho w this weekend.
Illusive. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
•email@example.com Stuart Lightbody will ha ve y ou beguiled and bamboozled with his sleightofhand skill in