As with an earlier DVD we reviewed, Magic and Madness is actually a DVD of a live lecture given at the LADS conference in 2015. If you’ve never come across Sean Heydon before, he’s an energetic and funny performer, and a fine magician at the same time, so this DVD is certainly worth your attention.

The Magic

sean heydon magic and madness reviewFizz Roulette is a brilliant example of his gift for taking a different slant on a well-known plot and bringing humour and audience engagement. In essence a spectator shakes up a can of fizzy drink which is then lost among 4 other unshaken cans. The cans are then opened, one at a time in the performer and spectator’s faces respectively. Needless to say, the final can – opened safely away from anyone else – has the extra fizz. The germ of the idea is from Paul Harris but Sean has built lots of fun in and plenty of humour. A great routine which could work in all kinds of settings – and even if you did it wrong the stakes are lower than with a blade of some kind!

3D Spectacular – a chosen card appears ‘in 3D’ in the flames of a lighter when your audience don some 3D glasses. Then the flame is ‘transferred’ to another random card which turns into the chosen card. Easy to do, though you’d have to watch the lighting and have good audience control for this one. A nice effect, but not one I could see myself using.

Dice Stacking/Chop Cup – This starts as a skilful demonstration of dice-stacking (which Sean assures us is not as hard as it looks – indeed a young lad from the audience begins to get the hang of it while you watch the explanation). It then moves into an entertaining chop cup type routine where an odd coloured die jumps back amongst another three and then two final (fruit) loads to finish. This is a nice routine and inspires me to have a go at the old dice-stacking.

The Multiple Card Find – this is a classic showpiece where multiple cards are lost in the pack and then found again in a variety of magical ways. As an experienced magician its very hard to be objective about this kind of routine. I’ve seen them so many times that they no longer excite me – but for a layperson it could be a very impressive routine. But whether you’ve never seen this before or are familiar with this kind of effect, Sean’s experience shines through and you’ll pick up loads of tips on the way and his own personal touches – including a neat vanish of the deck at the end of the routine.

The DVD finishes with a performance (only) of Sean’s take on the ‘Sam the Bellhop’ routine which he calls The 654 Club. It’s fast, entertaining and has some lovely extra features such as the spectator repeatedly cutting the deck on the way through.

The madness?

The whole DVD runs just under an hour and ten minutes. At the end I found myself wanting a little more – only four routines are taught. On the other hand they are all strong routines which, with a little work, would be within the reach of most. At around £25, I would have liked to see it slightly cheaper – but since the single effect Fizz Roulette has been sold for almost the same amount, it seems like reasonable value. Fizz Roulette is certainly the stand out effect for me – and if you were considering buying that anyway, you might as well get the whole thing.

Magic and Madness is available direct from the Merchant of Magic for £24.99 (at the time of writing).

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

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