Chris Cox: Fatal Distraction at South Hill ParkBy Caroline Cook
January 16, 2013
A mind reader who can’t read minds is coming to Bracknell.
Caroline Cook falls for his tricks
Picking up a deck of playing cards from my desk I pull out the Jack of Diamonds and lay it face down on the table.
A phone is balanced between my ear and shoulder and on the other end is Chris Cox who is going to try and guess my card.
He asks me to lay a few more cards on the table, while chatting to me about what I like to do.
“Do you like musicals?” he asks, as I count out some cards.
“Okay, think of the last one you went to see but don’t tell me.”
“Right, got it,” I reply (for your info, reader, it was Green Day’s American Idiot the Musical).
“Okay, put your card back in the pile.”
After a bit more shuffling, Chris is ready to guess the card.
I want to squeak a bit when he says, “it's either the Jack or King of Diamonds”. He pauses. “I’m going to go with King.”
“Oh, it was the Jack,” I say a little sadly.
“Oh I should have gone with my gut,” he says, pausing for a second. “Funny though, while we were doing that a Green Day song just came into my head.”
Cue laughter from my end of the line.
“Was the show you saw American Idiot the Musical?”
Coming off the phone I gush to the rest of the newsroom that he must have read my mind. After all, how else would he know?
Being super savvy journos my colleagues quickly come up with a plausible explanation. I won’t tell you what it was and spoil the illusion but it did cast a shadow over Chris’s powers. But then Chris is up front about his mind reading skills – or rather lack of.
“I say quite openly that the show is about psychology, magic, body language, devilish good looks and lying,” he says. “I will do anything I can to make it look like I can read a mind, but I can’t. No-one can.
“And I think anyone who says they can read minds is lying because if they could they wouldn't be telling anyone about it.”
Chris’s show Fatal Distraction, which he brings to South Hill Park next week, is based around his clever, mind-boggling tricks, and a boy-meets-girl love story.
“It’s a narrative-based show,” he says, “and of course there are amazing, mind-blowing tricks.
“I always get really bored seeing a magic show where it’s like here’s a trick, and here’s another trick. The tricks become normal. So I’ve put together a show that gives you a lot of different layers, so you come away like you’ve had a good meal -– satisfied.”
Audiences will find themselves involved in the show too as Chris messes with their heads with his fun and hilarious routine.
“There’s a bit where the audience are thinking of something they want me to do and hopefully I do it,” says Chris.
“That’s probably one of my favourite bits. I get to watch people’s faces drop with disbelief.”
The combination of comedy and illusion has been a winning one so far with the show selling out at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and getting rave reviews.
Chris has also picked up some famous fans along the way, including Tim Minchin, Danni Minogue and Jonathan Ross.
“There was a great moment when Jonathan Ross and his family came to see the show,” says Chris.
“In the bit where I do what people are thinking he thought about me sitting on his shoulders like a baby, so I went over and did it.
“He stood up and paraded me around, but I forgot how tall he was. I thought ‘this is it, this is how I’m going to die’.”
Chris can also count Reading comedian Ricky Gervais as a fan.
“It’s quite weird because there are people who I admire and to see them laugh at something I’ve done is amazing, particularly with Ricky's squawk,” he says.
“I mean, to have anyone watching me is amazing, although I'd probably still be doing it whether there were people or not.
“I love to go out at the end of the show and meet the audience too. And to give them some of my ‘I Love Cox’ badges,” he adds with a grin. “I do love a pun.”
Chris Cox: Fatal Distraction is at South Hill Park on Thursday, January 24. Tickets are £15, £14 for concessions and £13 for members. To book call (01344) 484 123.