Theatre Review: Andrew Klazinga's What You Don't See - A Journey of Mind Reading, Mystery, & Magic

Mentalist and magician Andrew Klazinga has debuted a show that once again uses his magic and mentalism skills to play with the illusion of what is and isn't real in order to confound members of the audience and leave them questioning the authenticity of what they perceive.

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 8 February 2019
Category: Reviews Comments View Comments


Andrew Klazinga performs at Alexander Upstairs in Cape Town on 7 February 2019

Andrew Klazinga's What You Don't See - A Journey of Mind Reading, Mystery, & Magic is a new show that's a mix of magic and mentalism that plays with perception and leaves audience members questioning what they think they know. It has debuted at Alexander Upstairs at Alexander Bar in Cape Town, where it will be hosted for a few days before moving later this year to other venues in the country.

There's nothing much to be said about the magic (besides giving away what happens and I have no intention of spoiling that). Klazinga is skilled and well practiced so audience members are once again being treated to some well performed mind bending impossibilities using note cards, books, coins, and more. He creates moments of delight for the audience members as they watch the magic unfold, which sometimes occurs in their very hands while Klazinga is on the other side of the room.

It's the polish of the show that needs some improvement and is an area where, for a magician, a professional director can be very helpful. Klazinga is still new to presenting solo shows that are meant for theatre spaces and so the physical staging of his props and use of the available performance area in What You Don't See - A Journey of Mind Reading, Mystery, & Magic needs some work but he's already noticed issues that can be improved and I suspect that by tonight the show will already be a lot smoother.

Andrew Klazinga performs at Alexander Upstairs in Cape Town on 7 February 2019

I feel that his debut solo show, If I Really Did Have Powers... (It Would Look Something Like This), far more strongly tied the theme into the show and had much better pacing but in presenting What You Don't See - A Journey of Mind Reading, Mystery, & Magic he has become more relaxed, which leads to more comfortable interactions with the audience. Although I would have liked to have seen the theme more prominently explored in this show, which comes across as a collection of intriguing effects, rather than a journey as the show's title promises, it's not crucial. I'm more interested in what the audience is experiencing.

Andrew Klazinga performs at Alexander Upstairs in Cape Town on 7 February 2019

Last night's audience at Alexander Upstairs was a very good one, with jovial people who were happy to volunteer and be involved and who were delighted with the outcome of the effects. At times Klazinga struggled with audience handling during the Season 7 run of the Cape Town Magic Club's Monday Night Magic events so it was good to see him take better control (although there's still room for improvement). Much of this was due to his far more approachable demeanour that's a result of him feeling happier in the Alexander Upstairs space, as well as having the luxury to spend an hour building the magic instead of feeling rushed in a shorter time slot, which can happen with the Monday Night Magic events as they feature multiple magicians each night, some of whom don't adjust their routines properly for a shorter performance.

If Klazinga can keep that energy up for future performances the audiences are going to continue to enjoy it as he's one of many local performers who treats volunteers with respect so they are not uncomfortable when they are helping him achieve the impossible.

Overall it's a good show, with just some pacing and staging problems, but the magic is professional, skilled, and expertly presented. As with his first show, this one leads to a very strong and satisfying conclusion that blew the minds of several audience members who left feeling utterly confounded but very happy with the experience.

As a magician that's the best outcome you can hope for.

What You Don't See - A Journey of Mind Reading, Mystery, & Magic:
Alexander Bar/Booking Info, Facebook
Andrew Klazinga: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Mandy J Watson was a media guest of Alexander Upstairs. What You Don't See - A Journey of Mind Reading, Mystery, & Magic runs for two more performances (tonight and tomorrow night) at Alexander Upstairs at Alexander Bar in Cape Town. Tickets are R90 online or R100 at the door. The show will also be on the programme of the fringe festival at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda (Grahamstown) in June/July 2019.

Tags: Arts And Culture, Magic

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