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Charlatan: Secrets of the Victorian Psychics

cabaret & variety · scalding tea productions · ★★★★★ · Ages 12+ · United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Review by anonymous

June 08, 2017 certified reviewer

What I liked

The Victorian card gimmick I hadn’t seen before. And I’m a sucker for any show that turns down the lights to near pitch black.

What I didn't like

The structure made no sense.
Guests are greeted to this being the 45th gathering of a psychic organization, but then it over explains some entry level topics around spiritualism – if we were at the 45th gathering, the attendees would be well acquainted. There is little additional inclusion of this being the 45th gathering (if the joke is that we’re all first time attendees, the setup doesn’t really deliver).
And the title of the show reads “Secrets of Victorian Psychics” but it never reveals any secrets.
The final “scare” was unsatisfying, but this could be because I’ve seen too many similar shows. Regardless, it was an abrupt ending that didn’t tie anything together (not that there was anything to tie together).

My overall impression

Uninspired, and a retread of previously worn ideas, like a high school student’s interpretation of “Play Dead.”

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The medicine you need!

This show... "... is soul medicine, powerful and healing.... it assaults our comfort with a fierceness that would make Antonin Artaud and Berthold Brecht proud.” -Mark Hein "... is the beautiful medicine you need.” – Scathach Cotter

To Richard!

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