Regular readers will know I have a soft spot for mentalism, and so I was very pleased to receive a copy of Mark Elsdon’s B’voque for review. In case you’ve missed this, it is Mark’s take on Max Maven’s seminal B’wave plot. If that still doesn’t help you (where have you been?!) – then the effect is that a ‘freely chosen’ card is the only one face up in a packet of face down cards.
In fact, that’s not quite the effect. In this very strong presentation you have a conversation with the spectator where they ‘imagine’ something which happened earlier – and at the end of the effect the outcome is exactly what they have described.
The title of the effect tells you the method (and again – if that doesn’t help you I’m not going to tell you!). If you’ve been around in magic any time this will not be a surprise to you. What you are really buying are the subtleties in Mark’s very sneaky handling. It is sleight of mouth, not sleight of hand here.
What do you get?
A nicely produced DVD which includes a couple of live performances and a studio performance. The explanation is full without becoming tedious and there are some really useful details on the way. You also get an envelope and all the necessary cards – though these are un-gimmicked and you could swap in any you wanted to use.
What do we think?
For me this ticks a lot of boxes. You end clean/examinable, it takes up little pocket space and is instantly re-set. It relies more on presentation than complicated moves. But it is precisely that which makes it difficult to rate. I could imagine a poor performer making a right pig’s ear of this – yet in competent hands it could be a miracle. It is not inherently ‘difficult’ – but some of the performance skills needed are difficult to teach – so at the end of the day you need to get out there and get doing it.
For a similar approach – but with the Twisted Sisters type plot, you should also consider John Bannon’s excellent Duplicity. If you like Mark’s work, you may also enjoy On the Mark – one of my go to walk around effects.