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Review | Matt Tarrant: More UNSOLVED will leave you scratching your head

Matt Tarrant: More Unsolved | Megamouth | Until 10th February | ★ ★ ★ ★  

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I shy away from magicians. It seems a strange thing to invite someone to baffle and trick you, much less pay them for the privilege. But that might change after seeing Matt Tarrant: More Unsolved at Megamouth in Yagan Square.

Tarrant’s an award winning and widely known magician who I had never heard of nor seen before. I feel like that’s important to mention, as that total lack of prior knowledge between the magician and his audience was the hinge on which his most impressive acts turned.

The Audience (with a capital A), is really what this show is all about. From the moment you enter the venue, Tarrant is extracting raw material from his audience for his act. An earnest and engaging showman, Tarrant chooses the participants of his trickery through the medium of an airborne plush toy, ensuring an utterly random selection of audience members to add that Fringe spice and spontaneity to his act.

From impressive psychic readings and puppetry to pearl-clutching ‘magician in peril’ moments, Tarrant managed some stunning reveals and genuine head-scratching moments that drew gasps from the crowd. It was a refreshingly modern take on magic – instead of top-hats, there’s hip hop. Instead of handkerchiefs from sleeves, there’s a special delivery from a burger chain, and video close-ups of the on-stage action means everyone gets a close look at exactly what he’s up to.

Tarrant let us in on the fact this was only the second time they’d performed this particular show, but it barely showed. His inexplicable finale, compiled from those early, audience-supplied raw materials, drew hoots and a standing ovation.

People really love magic. And if it’s because they’ve seen shows like this, I get it now. So whether you’re already a fan of his work or a skeptical curmudgeon like me, Matt Tarrant: More Unsolved proved the man is worth his awards. He tricks you real good.

Catch Matt Tarrant: More Unsolved at Megamouth in Yagan Square until 10th February 2019. 

Martin Wills, image: Trentino Pirrio


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