Bulllet Catch, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Monday 06 August 2012
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.
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