Your mind is completely private, isn’t it? That’s what mentalist Luke Jermay was trying to disprove at the Exeter Phoenix on 11 February as he dug up our pasts, presents and futures in an attempt to entertain and amaze in his show Sixth Sense. With fans like Derren Brown and Dynamo and having consulted on the hit TV show The Mentalist, expectations were high.
Jermay was generally rather charming, putting the audience at ease through that great medicine: laughter. However, we came to see a mentalist and not a stand-up comic and that is where it falls a bit flat. Throughout the first half he does a variety of tricks with audience members, most pre-selected by having labels put on their seats before the show or by Jermay himself. However, whilst these tricks would seem to be impressive the rest of the audience were left out of the loop leading to uncertainty about how close he’s really getting to the mark, with some answers being whispered, hidden or vague, though the participants seemed impressed.
In the second half audience members were asked to write down questions on slips provided and though the number of slips were limited I was luckily enough to grab one. Having made a big show of being blindfolded, he started to draw out question slips before guessing peoples’ dates of birth, then answering their questions, which he could not possibly have known or seen. For me, he correctly guessed my: star sign, course, sister’s name, chosen optional module for next year and answered my question. This left me stunned. I still have no idea how he did it, and that’s feeling you want from a show like this.
However, many members of the audience, who weren’t lucky enough to have a label on their seat or fast enough to get a question slip, didn’t get to experience this, and that was the problem. Jermay didn’t interact and engage with his whole audience, leaving those uninvolved feeling alienated. Perhaps that is an issue with all mentalism, but in this case, though what I got to experience was amazing the lack of engagement for the most part made the show underwhelming and a real waste of Jermay’s clear talent which could, and should, have left the whole room speechless.
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