“Imagine a dinosaur,” begins Derrick Chung, mystery expert and presenter for his second year in a row at the Montreal Fringe. Directed by Marc Trudel and consulted by McSorley and Chung partner Grant McSorley, The Chung & Co. Mystery Hour puts Chung at centre stage, wowing audiences with a style of performance he titles as “contemplative magic”.
He set the stage in the black box by attempting to get the audience on the same page as him by listing a series of fantastical events that starts with the apparition of the extinct reptilian. The set consisted of the use of two chairs to seat audience participants when they were needed and a small table that held some props for his upcoming tricks.
From the very beginning it was evident that his style of magic is much more mellow and cerebral than that which we are used to in mainstream media. It doesn’t necessarily have the razzle-dazzle one might expect at a traditional stage magic show, but it works due to Chung’s undeniable charm and likability.
In terms of difficulties, the production seemed to most notably suffer from rhythm and pacing issues. About halfway through the performance, Chung handed over the reins to his director Trudel, whose energetic rope trick contrasted with the calmer performance of his counterpart. It would have been interesting to see them interact more or do a trick together as the shift in momentum and style felt quite jarring when the focus switched back to Chung.
The Chung & Co. Mystery Hour distinguishes itself by being the only magic show at this year’s Fringe (and by Chung’s unique style). The audience of the show walked out happy, taking a moment to mention that it was not without its opening night kinks, but also raving about a trick he did using a Rubik’s cube. Another audience member I spoke to who had seen his show last year had said that he felt that Chung had really found his voice in this year’s show.
I can’t recommend The Chung & Co. Mystery Hour to everyone, but if you’re looking for something different at the festival, looking for a show to see in between two others, or really enjoy a mentalist-style of magic rather than the traditional showier style that pop culture portrays, you’re bound to enjoy it.
McSorley & Chung presents “The Chung & Co. Mystery Hour”
When: June 9 – 18, 2017
Where: Montreal Improv Theatre A, 3697 Saint-Laurent Blvd.
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: www.montrealfringe.ca | 514.849.FEST (3378)
Official Media Partner of the 2017 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
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