Switch-a-lope is a stage solution to a common magic ‘problem’ a four-way out or switch envelope. Read on to see what we think of it.
What is it?
This is a utility prop which you can use in a variety of routines. It looks like a large ‘window’ envelope, in which you can see another ‘DL’ sized envelope. In spite of this being in full view throughout the performance it can effortlessly be shown to contain one of four different ‘predictions.’ The predictions can be on a sheet of A4 paper and the spectator may remove them from the envelope themselves.
What do you get?
You get all the necessary to perform this, plus a link to a 14 minute online explanation. The explanation has annoying background music playing all the way through, but it is clear and easy to follow. Although it is relatively short, everything is explained in plenty of detail, right down to the type of paper and envelopes to use if you want to replace them.
What do we think?
When I first started playing with this I found the handling just a little awkward, but with only a short amount of practise it was becoming much cleaner. One of the hardest bits is getting the small envelope out of the larger envelope in the first place! One possible outcome is totally clean, the others require a very small amount of choreography.
The spectator can remove the prediction from the envelope, but they wouldn’t be able to examine it (why would they want to?). This is definitely a stage or platform effect where you have a bit more control over things.
My biggest reservation is about the rationale for the ‘window envelope’ – why not simply have the inner envelope? But I suspect this is easily justified – especially if you have the larger envelope hanging somewhere, or standing on something (so it is in full view). It is great that the prediction can be a full A4 sized sheet.
So if you are looking for a four-way out in a routine you’re developing – perhaps in a chair-test or similar – Switch-a-lope would be a good bet. Of course, in a chair test you might have to end up buying four of them which would be pretty pricey! (and actually the slight discrepancies in handling might be a problem)
We would be even more keen to recommend Switch-a-lope if it were just a fraction cheaper, but as a versatile accessory, if you are a regular stage performer it is worth a look.
You can pick up Switch-a-lope from the Merchant of Magic for £55.50 (at the time of writing).
Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.
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