Theatre Review: The Card Shark Show with Steve Truglia - The Royal Institution, London ✭✭✭✭

Steve Truglia

The Royal Institution

Friday 5th April 2013: Steve Truglia is a record breaking stunt coordinator and performer, and has recently been passed the notoriously rigorous performance exam for The Magic Circle, being awarded with the Associate of the Inner Magic Circle Award. Television's leading magician Dynamo also shares this accolade.

The Card Shark Show, which is now being performed at The Royal Institution takes us through the timescale of the middle ages through to the Wild West saloon bars, with Steve showing us different techniques used in the days to baffle and outwit other players in poker, the use of card counting, how different shuffles can be used, and how sleight of hand still continues to amaze us.

This show has a few short films, one of which tells us the origin of the 'Dead Man's Hand' in poker, and Steve manages to shuffle and deal the hand amongst others. Using new packs of cards, he shuffles, cuts, deals and somehow gets perfect poker hands dealt to him, and when shuffled even more, the whole deck is back to its original state.

Now, I'm a huge fan of magic when it is performed with style and panache, and usually I can work out how tricks are done from my time with working with magicians and various shows over the years. But this show had me completely baffled, even Penn and Teller would not be fooled. The way Steve deftly cuts, riffle shuffles, misguides and whatever else he does, is just astonishing. Even with a camera on his table to show close-up, audience members sat by his side, you just cannot work out how he can manipulate the deck in his favour.

This is a show for all ages, and the audience was teaming with all age groups, and running at just over an hour long, it is just the right length to get you talking about what you have seen.

This is not to be missed. Whether you are a fan of magic or not, grab a ticket and be prepared to be amazed.

Four stars ✭✭✭✭



Performances:            5 April, 19 April, 3 May, 17 May, 24 May, 14 June, 21 June
Times:                         All performances at 7.30pm
Ticket prices:              £25 - £60
Address:                      The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, Mayfair
London W1S 4BS
Box Office:                 0844 338 8000