Ben Blackman - Keeepingupwithnz.com'4 Stars - Felon is not for those who are blissfully gullible or believe unicorns actually existed sometime in the past. Speaking of strange and mythical animals, one of the highlights of the show was witnessing one of the weirdest drawings of a camel ever... 'open/close
Do you believe that mediums have the power to talk to the dead? Do you believe in magic and/or unicorns?
The unicorn bit was irrelevant but Jarred Fell’s show Felon is not for those who are blissfully gullible or believe unicorns actually existed sometime in the past. Speaking of strange and mythical animals, one of the highlights of the show was witnessing one of the weirdest drawings of a camel ever. The creature was sketched by one of the audience members in one of Jarred Fell’s many audience-aided gags parodying mediums, magicians and Dynamo performances.
The show is called Felon and as Fell explains at the start, some of his gags are bound to get him arrested at some stage. The show requires many cameos from reluctant audience members, and as the house lights go up, it could be anybody’s turn. With this level of audience involvement Jarred Fell is more likely to get a hiding before he gets arrested.
Nah jokes, he is an impressive performer who is highly trained in the tricks of the tricksters, but above all he is hilarious. His manner floats between highly camp and staunchly hetero, allowing him to have fun with all the genders as he pokes fun at himself growing up as an aspiring Dynamo.
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The comical magician – or magical comic – Jarred Fell is quick to point out he is no ‘Dynamo' given this is live, before our very eyes, with no camera or editing tricks possible. But as a child he was inspired to become a magician by seeing a Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee magic show.
His subsequent evolution as a magician through primary, intermediate and secondary school gives narrative structure to the early part of the show and there is a risqué frisson in his banter. The first trick he ever learned is just that: a trick.
The trick of lowering expectations by seeming to stuff up a routine – “When the magic doesn't work, that's comedy” – only to deliver at a whole new level is splendidly employed.
Much of the enjoyment comes from his encouraging us to develop the observational skills he claims allow him to work out who is lying or not. And under the guise of proving what a scam ‘psychic powers' are, Fell fools us admirably.
Even though he explains quite clearly how he does one thing, I – I think I can say we all –have no idea how he knows what people have drawn on his paper pad when his eyes and most of his head are encased in duct tape.
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