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As you grow older, the world becomes as less wondrous place.

A cardboard box is something to fight with as you fold it down to fit in the recycling bin, rather than a portal to another world; an exciting day out in the big city becomes a dreary commuter crush and a test of your stress levels. But the one thing that remains as magical now as when you were a child? Well, magic.

Of course as an adult you know it is the art of distraction and sleight of hand rather than any real hocus pocus, but that doesn’t stop the sense of wonder as a magician makes things appear and disappear right in front of your eyes.

A true master of this is Steve Truglia, a close-up magician and king of the cards. I went to see him recently in The Card Shark Show at The Royal Institution. Taking a seat in the intimate and beautiful space, Truglia took us on an educational journey through the dark and dangerous lives of card cheats across time, from the Old West to men employed by gangsters who, quite literally, had to play for their lives.

He demonstrated some of the most intricate cheats, revealing some secrets, but not all. Truglia openly admits to using sleight of hand to, for example, create perfect poker hands or rearrange a shuffled pack into numerical and suit order. What makes this so amazing is the whole time he has a camera directly on his hands, so the audience can see both the live action and the close-up on the screen above his head.

Plus, a personable chap, Truglia keeps things flowing in his hour-long one-man show, managing to talk and entertain at the same time as pulling off his intricate tricks.

I might not have as much fun with a cardboard box these days, but with thanks to magicians like Truglia, the world can still be a wondrous place.


Review: The Card Shark magic show
Digital Mag

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