Luke Jermay opened the show by asking the audience to raise their hands if they believed mind reading was possible, to which a scattering of nervous hands went up. The general consensus was “No, not really”, it seemed. Had he asked at the end of his show, I expect every hand in the room would have shot up.
In the intimate venue of the Basement, underneath City Screen Cinema on Coney Street, Jermay altered beliefs on what a single man could do with pure intuition. Stunning the audience with his uncanny ability to pinpoint exact details, with no clues or overt trickery, Jermay left us in awe. He could tell you a stranger‘s exact date of birth, know the full name of an audience member’s first kiss, and was somehow able to produce mirror images of drawings the audience members were asked to make in private.
He quickly developed a rapport with the audience, handling unexpected challenges with a finesse and sense of humour that made the show seamless. His adeptness at mastering the audience’s emotions was impressive; one moment everyone would be chuckling at a wonderfully delivered insult, the next we were hung in suspense.
The small venue was the perfect location for Jermay. A highly interactive show, I walked into the show hoping to be able to sit quietly at the back and spectate without interruption, yet by the end of the show, I was hoping that I’d have a chance to get involved – an opportunity that a surprisingly large number of the audience got to take.
Having written for and worked with many famous magicians and mentalists, such as Derren Brown and Dynamo, Jermay’s talent is indisputable. It has taken him around the world, from Las Vegas to London.
Luckily for York, Jermay won’t be rushing off anytime soon, so there are plenty of chances to see this unusual live entertainment act for yourselves. The Psychic Cabaret will be at Basement on the first Thursday of every month, and with tickets at just £12, it’s a show that you can’t afford to miss. This is entertainment that truly delights and spooks simultaneously, and an experience that you will talk about for a long time afterwards.
REVIEW FOR THE YORKER, FIRST PUBLISHED HERE: http://www.theyorker.co.uk/arts/performingarts/10558