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Friday, August 31, 2012


Certainly an astonishing and mystifying show. (Review by Keith Millar)

So, what exactly is a Mentalist? I googled that question and the answer seems to be that it refers to an entertainer whose performance appears to be based on psychic abilities, featuring the knack to read minds, alter the state of matter, foretell the future and see distant and hidden objects.

Well, Gilan Gork used all those tricks and more to keep his audience in the Playhouse Drama Theatre thoroughly entertained. Gilan is a charming young man who has a easy and friendly style and as a result builds a good rapport with his audience. This is just as well because as the show is fully interactive with “randomly selected volunteers” are involved in all the various segments of the production. In fact, Gilan goes to great lengths to ensure that the participants are randomly selected. Great fun is had as balls are bounced around the audience, votes are cast via SMS’s, and at one point even a game of musical chairs takes place.

These volunteers are then involved in all the activities which take place on the stage. For example an audience member was hooked up to a machine and her lucid dreams are projected in 3D on a big screen for all to see.

A game of celebrity mentalist is played where a young lady, in this instance, was given the opportunity to unlock her own mind-reading abilities and to correctly deduce the thoughts of three other randomly selected audience members.

Gilan also played a game where a vicious looking spike is hidden under one of five polystyrene cups by an audience member. He then smashes the cups one after the other, hopefully not impaling his hand in the process. He apparently succeeded in not doing himself a damage but I must admit the tension was too much for me and I had to close my eyes at this point.

Then there was the metal bending. Various items of kitchen cutlery were selected from the audience and Gilan, apparently using the power of his mind, proceeded to make them bend in full view of everyone and projected on the big screen. Unhappily, the fork I took along is still dead straight and ready for use at mealtime.

The show is not without its problems. Considerable use is made of music and audio visual effects. Unfortunately there technical glitches and these distracted from the presentation. The pictures on the big screen, which were an important part of the show, were very dark and difficult to see. Another problem for me was the laborious and tedious way in which the “volunteers” were selected. This took far too long and as a result the show ran for nearly three hours.

Is it magic or is it the power of the mind? I don’t know. You will have to see the show to decide for yourself. It certainly is astonishing and mystifying .

Beyond The Mind, directed by Renos Spanoudes, will also be presented at the Lyric in Johannesburg on October 5 and at the Theatre On The Bay in Cape Town from November 7 to 24. – Keith Millar