I was eager to watch The Cups and Balls Revolution since regular readers will know I am on a bit of a cups and balls pilgrimage this year. This is apparently a routine which won 2nd prize in the FISM close up competition some years ago, and has now been released as a standalone item.

This instant download makes a bold claim in its title – could it really be a revolution? Read our review to find out.

The teaching

There are two downloads (or you can stream them). The first is about 3 minutes long and is a simple performance of the whole routine. I guess this enables you to easily watch it again when you’re at the ‘learning’ stage. The second is around 22 minutes long and contains the explanation – though in fact it starts with another (slightly redundant?) performance.

The lynch pin of the routine is clever one handed display which allows you to show a cup empty and then produce a ball from it. If you’ll allow me a slight digression, it reminds me of a move I played around with years ago when I got my first Chop Cup (in my childish way I probably thought I invented it – though no doubt someone else got there first)– but without the chop gimmick. I have read that it is similar (the same?) as a move by Ross Bertram but I haven’t been able to check that out yet.

The move is clever – and he has some nice variations on this including a colour change and a mid-air transfer (!). The individual moves are taught silently with the aid of a clear glass to help clarify them. I was able to follow them easily – though the sleight of hand vanish was not quite so clear. But you’ve probably already got one of those – or know where to look.

The most annoying thing about the teaching is his propensity to wink at the end of each segment.

Once all the elements have been taught there is a verbal run through of the whole routine. He speaks in Spanish but there are English subtitles. This is clear but sparse – the version with explanation only lasts a minute or so longer than the straight routine.

A Cups and Balls Revolution?

jaque - cups and balls revolution - reviewThat really is quite a bold claim. Certainly, it has a different feel to many classic routines which hark back to Vernon. There are some really nice moments. One of my favourite aspects is the way he starts with one cup and very magically the cup multiplies into two later.

The incorporation of a colour change is a welcome addition and the move gives it a different feel. There has been so much literature on the cups and balls over the years that it does feel to be over the top to call it a revolution. But Jaque certainly brings some fresh thinking.

I was left with the following questions. Do I appreciate it because I am a magician and I enjoyed seeing something different – or is there something here which would have a greater impact on lay-people? And I’m not really sure. In some ways it feels like starting with one cup should be less confusing and make the magic clearer – but actually on first watching I felt the routine was a little bit confusing.

On my own particular quest to create my own routine, I’m pleased to have watched this to get new ideas and input. And I think if you watch it and end up incorporating even one move or idea it will have been worth it. At only £12.50 it is a good investment for anyone who wants to work on the cups and balls.

The Cups and Balls Revolution is available from MagicShop.co.uk for £12.50 (at the time of writing).

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

Jaque – The Cups and Balls Revolution – review
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