Adelaide Fringe 2019: jden redden: The Expert at the Card Table

Review by Zoe Koulakis

Venue: Noel Lothian Hall at Noel Lothian Hall — Adelaide Botanic Garden OR The Parlour at Stirling Fringe

When: 28 Feb — 2 March

Cost: $28

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jden redden — “The Expert at the Card Table”. Image via Adelaide Fringe.

Winner of BankSA Best Magic of Fringe Weekly Award, The Expert at the Card Table is your exclusive to unlocking all the secrets of fixing cards.

Jden Redden takes you back to Chicago, 1902, where the gambling, and more specifically card cheating scene was at its peak. But instead of just wowing the audience with endless card tricks and showy magic, Jden reveals the deep secrets of the card table; secrets that have been under lock and key for decades.

The Expert at the Card Table uses sleight of hand techniques that are explained in the book of the same title, by the mysterious author S.W. Erdnase. Through a combination of monologue and trickery, Jden both educates the audience in the history of card cheating and demonstrates the many tricks of the trade- including several shuffling and dealing techniques.

The show’s sound cues were precise and created a sense of suspense as the audience waited on every word Jden spoke. The set design was minimal and drew its focus to the card table in its centre. The smokey, low-lit stage set the scene for 1902, and made the audience feel as though they were its exclusive guests. The intimate nature of the show made me feel as though I was privy to a secret only few would hear. One draw back of the staging was that some audience members were unable to see the card table directly. However, a projector was used to ensure that these people could still enjoy the show- though I would recommend waiting at the front of the line to get the best front row seats.

The Expert at the Card Table is perfect for anyone who enjoys playing cards- you might even learn how to win at your next poker night. The show is suitable for audiences of all ages and all levels of card playing knowledge; as someone who has little to no card playing experience, I found this show particularly fascinating.

No audience member seemed to walk out of the show disappointed, and I am certain that it has something for everyone. This show closes on the 3rd of March so get in quick to book your exclusive seat at The Expert at the Card Table.

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