The Close Up Show at The Hawth, Crawley Review

10 February 2018


Reviewed by Amanda Hayes

I could sum up last night’s production (10 February 2018) at The Hawth in Crawley, in just four words. Prepare to be amazed.

The performance of The Close Up Show was held in the Loft, a small room on the first floor where every attendee had a birds eye view. The magic show has three very different performers from the Magic Circle showcasing the best in their particular type of magic. After talking to one of the magicians I found out that each show is different and has two new magicians each time together with the host Chris Wood. Chris introduces the acts, explains the show and also entertains the audience with his card skills as the second of the three acts to perform.

The show is small, 15-20 people in no more than two rows, around a typical card table, so everyone gets a perfect view. There is a lot of audience participation with the majority of people helping with a trick throughout the evening, but don’t be worried, you won’t get laughed at or picked on, it was done in a really fun and friendly way.

First up last night was Andy Ray his act being what you think of as traditional magic with a mixture of card tricks and disappearing/reappearing objects. Andy has a brilliant sense of humour and kept us all laughing as we were watching intensely to try and find out how the tricks worked but to no avail. After around 25 minutes, there was a quick 5 minute break and Chris came on with his amazing card skills. This was not only entertaining but interesting as he explained some typical cons from casinos and fairs. Even with an explanation we had no idea how he did any of the tricks, even when he did them slower and slower several times over. Bearing in mind the audience was only a few feet Chris takes sleight of hand to the next level.

The last magician up was Roberto Forzoni, Mind reader, which is a skill I have always being completely sceptical about. Well not anymore, Roberto was totally unbelievably believable. He asked the audience to write down things about themselves he couldn’t know, and he got every single one spot on. Not in a vague way either he was very specific right down to a particular pets name or an address or ailment. Amazing yet disconcerting.

We saw this production at The Hawth in Crawley which is easy to get to and has plenty of free parking. The bar area is comfortable and relaxing and well stocked with both drinks, snacks and ice creams. You can also book a pre-theatre meal making for a fantastic night out.

I have only briefly touched on the fantastic skills that this evening showcased. And I don’t want to give anymore away and spoil the surprise, you will need to get a ticket and see for yourself. It was an absolutely fabulous evening, interesting, intimate, humorous and above all spectacular. Highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

The Close Up Show is back at The Hawth in Crawley on 17 March, 14 April, 19 May, 16 June and 14 July 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 01293 553636.

The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636

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