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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 MICHAEL FONTAINE

June 11, 2017 my haunt life original article

What I liked

It’s a different take on what you’ll usually see at Fringe. A chance was taken and has paid off!

What I didn't like

I wish it was longer!

My overall impression

Walking into this show, I thought I had an idea of what I would experience. In my mind, I’d be going to show/lecture about Victorian-era “psychics” and the tricks they pulled in order to make money by making people believers in their “powers”. Some secrets were revealed, but what surprised me and made me fall in love with this show was that, in addition to the history, you got to see and experience what these cons were.

Dr. Mark Gasson takes you through a short history lesson about Victorian-era psychics and then re-enacts some of the things that made these “psychics” what they were (spoiler alert, they’re just normal people with no special “powers”). He makes you realize just how easy it is to be manipulated by people who know how to take advantage of our subconscious. He will leave you amazed and spellbound and if that can happen nowadays, you can understand why people in the 1800’s thought there were mystical powers going on.

Part history lesson, part illusionist act, this show is a perfect combination of both.

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