The charismatic Cloud channels the powers of the famous detective to deliver a show that astonishes. Is it magic? Is it psychic phenomenon? Nope, it’s just mind-bending talent.
From the moment you enter the performance space, there’s an aura of mystery and intrigue.
Dressed in garb that (skinny jeans aside) would not be out of place on a Victorian mesmerist, Cloud sits facing the audience; he is blindfolded and eerily immobile. Once everyone is seated, he rises from his stool, removes his blindfold and issues a warning: if we’re not comfortable having our innermost thoughts exposed, it’s time to leave the auditorium.
First up, we all play a game of rock, paper, scissors. During the course of the game, Cloud explains (with much hilarity) what our seemingly random choices reveal about our personalities.
He then launches into a series of activities designed to demonstrate his powers of deduction. Perhaps most astonishingly (in a country notorious for its lack of place-specific accent), he is able to pinpoint, simply by hearing the word “hello”, not just the state but the suburb that audience members grew up in.
With his quick-witted quipping and stylish showmanship, Cloud is certainly engaging, but this self-styled hipster-Holmes is more than just an entertaining performer. His training in criminal profiling is apparently the cog that turns the show’s wheels. He tells us that what we are seeing is forensic science in action. However, although he talks us through his mental processes, nothing seems to quite explain his seemingly impossible deductions.
Those who have balked at the vaguely sinister mind-messing of celebrity illusionists need not fear; Colin Cloud is quite the gentleman deductionist. Charming, playful and witty, he teases but leaves the audience feeling warmly towards him. And that’s probably how he manages, at the end of the show, to (almost) get away with murder.
Colin Cloud: Kills is showing nightly 9.30pm in The Factory, Garden of Unearthly Delights until February 28.