Last night, my continuing quest to check out shows that are different led me to the Jermyn Street Theatre for the first time, to see magician Paul Zenon in Linking Rings. Zenon is a member of the Inner Magic Circle and received their Carlton Award for Comedy in 2015. He is also a presenter, writer and actor and pops up on television shows such as Channel 4's 'Countdown'.
Linking Rings is described as “Not a magic show - magical nonetheless.” So it's quite clear that we shouldn't expect magic tricks, but that is exactly what I was hoping for. How strange the way my mind works – maybe that was a magic trick in itself! Luckily for me, Zenon did indulge us in the odd trick or two, including his favourite, the Chinese linking rings illusion. It's quite extraordinary to see magic taking place before our very eyes, and we just can't explain it. However, this is not the point of the show.
In the show, Zenon charmingly recounts how he got into magic, or 'trickery', and how this became a life-long passion. We learn that he first became fascinated by the tricks on display in the 'House of Secrets' shop in Blackpool, as a twelve year old boy during one summer holiday. We also learn about the characters that have influenced Zenon’s career, such as Bill, the 'Homes of Secrets' shop owner, and Harry Houdini, the famous escapologist. And we also get to know about Jim Collins, who spent many years as Houdini's assistant.
Zenon's life has taken many twists and turns – who would have guessed that he would even get a support slot with heavy metal band Hawkwind. We also hear about more melancholic moments, including the final days of Houdini's life, which Zenon describes very movingly as seen through the eyes of Houdini's assistant.
So, if you're in London and want to try something completely different to the shows that we normally cover on londontheatre.co.uk, then this show may fit the bill. You will be able to immerse yourself in someone else's heartfelt story. You will be taken through an inspiring journey and I ended up thinking that it's so true what they say … everything happens for a reason.
Linking Rings is playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre, a 70 seat venue near Piccadilly Circus, until 30 January 2016.
s prodigal, pluralist talent."
Michael Billington for The Guardian
"Matthew Dunster directs a first-rank cast of 12...and already has an almost sold-out hit on his hands. If this doesnt get a West End transfer, itll be a major miscarriage of common sense."
Dominic Cavendish for The Telegraph