Usually a magician likes to keep his tricks a secret for obvious reasons. But jden redden is no ordinary magician. Part of the Adelaide Fringe, over the course of an hour, jden performs card tricks and then explains how they are performed.
The audience is led upstairs at La Boheme Theatre and sits around a card table adorned with four different packs of cards and a book, “The Expert at the Card Table” by S. W. Erdanase (backwards, E. S. Andrews). jden goes into a bit of the history of this well known book amongst magicians which has been in print for over 100 years. Dressed impeccably in a wool suit and wearing glasses he certainly looks the part of a master illusionist.
The three basic moves he teaches us are the False Cut, the False Shuffle and the False Deal. jden performs a trick with each then explains the science behind them. The fascinating thing is that even after explaining the moves, and slowing the movements down, his hand is still faster than the eye. At 22 years old, jden has been perfecting his art for eleven years and is polished and smooth. There were two other magicians in the audience who were clearly impressed with his skill.
Although everyone in the audience was shown how to palm a card, I highly doubt that anyone could replicate this feat without some serious training. That would go for all of the tricks shown actually. The show was well paced and entertaining, with plenty of audience participation. The cards seemed to float in his hands as he dealt from the top, the bottom and the centre of the decks, with dozens of eyes glued to the cards he still managed to draw plenty of gasps of astonishment from the assembled group.
The show culminates in a piece de resistance whereby one audience member is in control of the dealing of cards to four others. Random flips, choices and turns from the audience member still leaves jden coming up trumps. This is clearly not a person to play cards against for money.
Close up magic is one of the more difficult challenges as there is little room for error, but watching jden shuffle cards one handed is like watching a true master at work. A true gentleman of the game and a show that really has to be seen to be believed.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Expert at the Card Table — How to Cheat at Cards runs until 18th March at La Boheme. The reviewer attended the performance on 23rd February.