IN THE age of 3D movies with graphics so good you can almost believe they are real, the art of illusion, misdirection and showmanship will be getting its own stage at the Savoy Theatre when local mentalist Brendon Peel presents his new show, Mind Games, on Wednesday.
Peel, 20, says the audience can expect some danger (at least for him, anyway) during his 90-minute show which tinkers on the edge of the dark and humorous as it has a back and forth progression from serious to funny.
Mind Games will have everything from predicting what people will say or do next, all the way to edge-of- your-seat stunts.
The show uses games as a vehicle to amaze the audience – from ordinary card games and rock-paper-scissors to a game of 30 seconds with a mentalist twist at the end.
“This is why I created the show, because I have always had a keen interest in board games and card games so I thought why not fuse the two… and I don’t really know of any other mentalist who has done what I’m doing now,” he said.
Peel’s interest in magic was sparked when he was 13 years old, after he read a few books on the subject and started practising.
“It was always a general interest in how you can influence people and bring amazement and shock to other people. That’s why I really like doing it, for the whole audience reaction.”
From there and through the influence of British mentalist Derren Brown, Peel started adding physiological elements to his magic, progressing towards mentalism where he realised that his audience was far more captivated by the mysticism that he produced.
One of the more dangerous feats Peel will perform is a variation on Russian Roulette called “Spiked”. It entails four polystyrene cups and one extremely sharp metal spike.
An audience member will place the spike underneath any one of the cups while Peel’s back is turned. The feat sees Peel smash each of the cups while steering clear of spiking his hand.
“If it does go wrong, it probably will go through my hand. I have performed it a number of times. The first time was in 2011 at the National Arts Festival.”
Peel is currently studying psychology, journalism and drama at Rhodes University . He has performed at the National Arts Festival for the past three years in three different solo shows as well as at a number of corporate events. He has a number of shows lined up after Mind Games, but currently he is just working on expanding his mentalism as well as developing his show called Think Twice for next year’s National Arts Festival.
Tickets for the show can be purchased at Computicket at R50 for students/ pupils and R70 for adults.