Last year, mind-reading magician Doug Segal was the hit of the free fringe, packing out a small dark room above an Edinburgh pub with his impressive mentalist skills.
This year, he has graduated to the “Hogwarts theme park” of the Gilded Balloon: and it’s not just the venue which is bigger and better in every way.
With a bigger stage, proper lighting & tech, and raked seating allowing people to actually see what’s going on, How To Read Minds And Influence People allows Segal to showcase his talents properly. From the start, he’s predicting audience members’ choices of numbers, words and pictures before they themselves seem to have chosen them. Each of his routines – impressive enough on their own – pile on an additional layer of how-did-he-do-that wow factor, in a highly entertaining and great value package.
Segal’s slightly manic yet affable stage presence has the audience on his side from the start, and they don’t really need his frequent encouragements to go crazy to reward his performance. With just the right balance of comedy and effect, his show is more than capable of soliciting the cheers and standing ovations on its own merits.
So whether he’s serving up a jaw-dropping feat of prediction, or a fun and impressive display of the power of suggestion, Doug Segal’s show is an impressive collection of mind-boggling feats: and one which will have you gasping in amazement more often than you thought possible in 60 minutes.
Doug Segal: How To Read Minds And Influence People is at the Gilded Balloon until 27 Aug at 1900. Tickets are available on the Fringe website.