Colin Cloud: Sinful Review

One of the biggest names at the Fringe, it’s an easy feat for Colin Cloud to sell out a 750 seat theatre. The Fringe veteran returns with special guest Chloé Crawford for his latest show Sinful, an epic saga of deception, illusion, and deduction. Always guaranteed to be a good time, Cloud is one of the greatest showmen alive, interspersing thrilling illusions with wit and humour. The real question for him is this — Can Colin Cloud out-do himself once again?

There’s no doubt about it, Sinful elevates Cloud’s unique brand of magic to new heights and shows that in addition to being a masterful detective, magician, and comedian, Cloud is a brilliant storyteller as well. Toying with and twisting the ideas of saints and sinners, the real-life Sherlock Holmes proceeded to pickpockets and read minds, detect lies and hear faint whispers from across the room, all culminating in a daring grand finale in which Crawford was buried alive. Daring and written like an Agatha Christie novel, Sinful brings together magic, comedy, and drama to give an audience the feeling of watching magic for the first time again. There’s no other performer like Cloud, and very few shows can hold a candle to the level of drama that Sinful evokes. 

For all of its amazement and astoundment though, Sinful didn’t feel like anything novel or mind-blowing. While Cloud has always had a unique selling point as a forensic mentalist, Sinful didn’t feel like it brought anything new to the table. Cloud delivered a wonderful show, but so much of it felt like over-dramatized fluff. Furthermore, while Crawford is respectable as a magician in her own right, it felt as though she were delegated to be a glorified assistant in Sinful, performing small bits of magic, but bringing nothing truly unique to the show. That said, this was looking at Colin Cloud in the most critical eye. For a consistently successful performer, there comes a time when they cannot coast off the same material and expect to receive the same rave reviews as always.

Still, Sinful is as good as anything Cloud has done in the past, and Cloud is no disappointment either. He’s proven himself once again to be a master of building illusion, a show that subtly strips away an audience’s disbelief until he has them wrapped around his pinky, following his every word. If you’ve never seen Colin Cloud before, your Fringe experience is not complete until you witness Sinful, a thrill of a show that will have you questioning everything you once thought to be true.

Colin Cloud: Sinful is on at Pleasance Courtyard – The Grand

31 July – 25 August @ 20:00 (1 hour)

You can buy tickets here.

Photo Credit: Pleasance Press Office

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