Bulllet Catch, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh


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The Independent Culture

Here comes actor and, for the occasion, raconteur Rob Drummond to tell us a story.

To tell us multiple stories, in fact: of Victorian-era magician William Henderson, who died in suspicious circumstances performing the most dangerous trick of all; of William Wonder, a contemporary analogue of Henderson, who will be recreating the stunt before us; and of Drummond himself, who appears to be chasing the pure thrill of existential, almost religious clarity while staring down the barrel of a gun and watching a finger squeeze upon the trigger.

Originally produced by Glasgow’s Arches, Bullet Catch is a magnetic piece of theatre masquerading as a magic show.

Deftly, Drummond uses pre-determined answers and cue cards to coax his audience participants – eventually whittled down to one – to inhabit the cast, from Henderson’s fearful wife to the traumatised stooge who shot the fatal bullet.

This psychological teasing is a greater sleight of hand than any of the tricks Drummond performs as a preamble and, while the spectator might not believe all they see or hear onstage, the amount of walkouts when offered a final chance to leave the room suggests a sense of mortal dread has been cooked to boiling point.

For, as is pointed out, when you start thinking about whether or not you believe is when you’ve already stopped.

Until Sunday 26th August (not Mondays)