As much as everyone loves a plot-driven magic show, sometimes a magic fan is in the mood for the classic: a series of tricks loosely tied together by stories that the magician happens to find interesting. The Way of the Magician is the perfect show for those occasions. Lewis Barlow is faultless in his performance of a variety of card and coin tricks, often themed on characters from his life or magical history.
Barlow excels at his card finding and trick dealing in particular. The audience expects him to find the cards they choose, nothing is more basic in the performance of magic, yet Barlow finds a way to display that concept in new, increasingly interesting ways—proving that he can surprise and amaze, even regardless of whether or not collects the chosen card back from his participant. More “practical” displays of trick dealing prove fascinating as well, linking in with Barlow’s brief but fascinating educational segment on a historical card cheat.
New technology abounds at Magicfest. Barlow makes great use of a live camera stream to make sure that his magic is visible to the whole audience. This results in several wholesome moments in the show. Early troubles with the camera bring local celebrity and Magicfest big boss Kevin Quantum to the rescue, in a display of Quantum’s hands-on care and support for the artists in his festival. Later on Barlow takes a second to admire how good his card tricks look on the big screen—a well-deserved moment of self love. The audience concurs with his assessment.
Audience members are treated well by Barlow. They are often used to simply choose a card from their seats, perhaps a wise time saving move to reduce show time spent waiting for large numbers of participants to shuffle back and forth down the rows of seats. With so many card finding tricks, this is a significant factor. When choosing individuals to actually join him on stage Barlow kindly opens the floor to volunteers in the first instance, allowing for a very enthusiastic young audience member to experience the magic up close.
If The Way of the Magician indicates anything about what it’s like to be a magician, it’s implicitly, in the freedom that Barlow takes in creating a show out of random things that he likes and finds interesting. Maybe sometimes that’s all that is needed.
More information on Lewis Barlow can be found here.