Matthew J Dowden - Magic of the Movies @ The Scottish Storytelling Centre
Chronicling the magic of the movies, Matthew guides us through his favourite moments from Charlie Chaplin, ET and the Rat Pack to the Godfather and James Bond. A large screen behind our magician depicts nostalgic scenes as he sings, dances, plays the piano and of course, creates illusions.
The show is energetic and dripping with passion for the craft. There are the oldies-but-goodies; cut the rope and the bottle and tube trick. While it’s showcased differently, incorporating the magic of the silver screen, Matthew offers little new material. Illusions are punctuated with his surprisingly gentle singing and some comedic movie impersonations.
At times, it feels a little too cluttered and at odds with itself, but Matthew’s classic conjuror persona and charming smile never fail to engage his audience and he keeps the momentum going. It’s the sleight-of-hand though that is the real gem of the show. With a deck of cards he masterfully flicks, throws, produces and fans them as they disappear into a bucket, only to re-appear in his hands. Few magicians currently performing can boast such clean flourishes and expert misdirection and Matthew’s card tricks are always a high point of his performance.
The Magic festival, this year more so than ever, seems geared towards kids (most shows suitable for aged five and above). The performers therefore have the awkward task of keeping both younger and older audiences entertained and while this is obviously a kids’ show, our illusionist’s skills remain fun for all to watch.
Matthew delivers an energetic, whimsical, polished and charming show of magic and the movies.