Kevin Quantum’s final performance of Anti-Gravity at this year’s Magicfest was to a sold out audience, an impressive feat for the Monday evening before Hogmanay. This year’s winter Magicfest has apparently found its time to shine in Edinburgh’s busy festival calendar, and Quantum, one of just two solo magical acts this year, has clearly found his following. Quantum’s particular science fiction blend of physics and magic appeals to all ages, and he cultivates a tone of ingenuous whimsicality that perfectly suits the levitation-themed event.
Quantum devises a plot line in Anti-Gravity with his homemade anti-gravity machine, which slowly gains power over the course of the evening, allowing him narrative justification to gradually increase the stakes of his tricks. He cleverly uses the same props for a series of effects, as when he switches, levitates, and multiplies a five dollar note. By using the same object to both follow his theme and deviate from it, he gives himself room to perform a wider variety of tricks while maintaining the cohesion of the show.
A penultimate effect involving two audience participants behaving erratically shifts the tone of the evening. It is a fascinating glimpse at what Quantum is capable of, taking advantage of the playful magician-scientist character that he embodies so well to create unexpected feelings of unease in the audience. While it is unfortunately a touch too surrealist to feel fully at home in Anti-Gravity specifically, it piques interest in Quantum’s future projects.
Easily the cutest moment in Anti-Gravity was Quantum’s interactions with one of his early audience participants, a young aspiring magician—who Quantum immediately identified as such by her top hat. She certainly appeared to take to it very well. She enthusiastically learned how to manipulate the audience from Quantum and visibly enjoyed her newfound power. It was lovely to see Quantum taking the time out of his own act to encourage a potential future magician, easily juggling entertaining his audience as a whole with spontaneously inspiring this one audience member in particular.
Anti-Gravity is overall a fun, solidly entertaining show, and Quantum’s personal enthusiasm for both magic and science radiates throughout. Its simple narrative and overall tone surely satisfy the numerous children in the audience, and Quantum’s performance is surely varied enough to keep their guardians entertained.