Matt Tarrant is straight up with the crowd gathered in The Octagon tent on a warm Sunday evening; he’s loved magic ever since he was a kid wanting to be pulled up on stage by the first magician he’d ever seen perform. His Adelaide Fringe Festival show Honestly Dishonest is about perhaps giving that feeling to any kid in attendance tonight – they too could be magicians when they grew up. It’s also about him sharing with the audience some of his favourite tricks, injected with a solid amount of humour and delivery that strays from what you may expect from a show of this kind.
First of all, Tarrant is incredibly likeable from the beginning. There’s not outrageous costuming or props going on to divert the audience’s attention from what’s happening on stage and there are even moments during the show where Tarrant mentions the audience can Google the tricks he’s rolling out. The confidence with which he carries himself is endearing and even when a trick mightn’t be smashed out of the ballpark on the first go, nobody cares too much.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to magic shows. Not in the way that I’ll avidly get up and argue with someone of the existence of ‘magic’, but I will sit there and watch a show, getting frustrated over the fact that I can’t work out just howit’s falling into place. It’s the sign of a show being done well and it’s fair to say that I sat through Matt Tarrant’s show feeling all of the above.
Tarrant interacts with the crowd easily and ensures that we’re all involved in some way or another, you can tell that he’s been doing this for quite some time. He’s honed his craft and delivers a solid show in a way that you want to be up there with him, being baffled as he works his magic around a deck of cards or attempts to read your mind.