Over the Top is the latest release from that talented magic creator Cameron Francis. It is a great effect where the spectator is the star. After a deck is shuffled and cut several times, the spectator manages to locate a chosen card simply by spelling out the answer to a number of questions. They then proceed to find all the matching cards, then the aces, finally locating a full royal flush in every suit. And if that weren’t enough, the faces of the rest of the cards then all vanish.

This is classic Cameron – it is easy to do (all but self-working – you will just need very basic card handling skills to pull this off), entertaining and packs a punch. The spectator will be genuinely baffled by how they ‘do the magic’ and the audience will be thoroughly entertained.

cameron francis - over the top - reviewThe DVD is shot to BBM’s usual high standards and includes a couple of live performances (including one from the Magic Castle, where Cameron used this to close his set each night) as well as a detailed explanation and some other fun stuff. If you look closely you’ll even find a discount code to save you money on other Cameron Francis titles. You also receive a special deck of Bicycle cards – all ready to use (without giving too much away, they’ve even done the pencil dots for you!).

Over the Top is a really strong routine which I think you will enjoy performing. It does require good audience management skills (especially the very first part), and to really sell it you will have to work hard at providing the necessary energy, but we all know that the secret of strong magic is in the presentation don’t we?

The deck is fairly obviously a one-trick pony and Cameron does include some basic thoughts on switching it in. It might have been nice to include a little more detail here – but there are plenty of resources you can go to for that information if you need any help (e.g. Giobbi’s masterful Art of Switching Decks – or Greg Wilson’s excellent Cold Case which we review here).

Re-set is very straightforward and can be done in front of the audience as you ‘clear up’ the final display – so this is very versatile. It really is hard to find anything to dislike. Except perhaps the name which I think is a bit Over the Top…

Available from Merchant of Magic for £27.50 (at the time of writing).
(With thanks to the gents at BBM who kindly provided the review copy)

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