Magician Kevin Quantum, real name: Kevin McMahon, has an interesting backstory. He worked as a physicist up until 2005, then starred in a reality show in Scotland called Faking It, in which participants were trained for a month in a field far from their usual occupation, faking that they’d worked in that field for ages when applying for a ‘real’ job.
The new work Kevin chose was magic, but, observing his performance 12 years on – in which he operates with such finesse – you could say magic chose him.
Now going by the name of Kevin Quantum (a nod to his history in physics), this guy delivers a fast-paced one-man production that is part science, part magic, part comedy, and all genius.
Beginning with a bit of slight-of-hand, the show shifts from one insanely good trick to the next, all interlaced with cheeky jokes from the guy, who appears to keep forgetting there are kids in the audience (oh heck, their parents can explain the innuendo to them when they’re older). But you’d forgive him for that faux pas since he’s got so much else going on. Indeed, this is beyond your average brand of multi-tasking and more in the realm of remarkable jack-of-all-trades.
Any stand-up comic will tell you it’s pretty tough getting a laugh out of an audience. When you’re balancing maths and physics, memory and direction (Kev is often instructing audience members to assist with his routines), common sense and comedy, it’s sure to be a far, far greater challenge. But Kevin Quantum does it all with grace, charm and ease.
Each show is supposedly different to the previous one, since Quantum leaves it up to the audience to choose the format. We picked ‘Countdown’ which meant eight sketches in total were performed, the first at eight-minutes length, the second at seven, the third at six, and so on.
While the time per consecutive trick got shorter, the pace only got faster, and by the end of an hour-long show, the audience is left caught between gasping in awe and crying with joy.
Since appearing in Faking It, Kevin Quantum has been on thousands of stages around the world. Fringe World goers in Perth ought to be thrilled he graces this year’s program.
Catch him before he disappears like one of his tricky little stage props. Antonino Tati
‘Kevin Quantum: And For My Next Trick’ is on at the Teatro in the Pleasure Garden, James Street, Northbridge, Perth from 8.45pm each night until February 7.
Tickets are available at www.fringeworld.com.au.