Strange Wonders

imageStuart Lightbody, directed by Tara Notcutt, presents Sleepless Dreams, a magical show about magic.

As Lightbody says, it’s his “passion, no, obsession”. The deck of cards the only prop. And a balloon. Us the audience play the co-stars. We make it wonderful in watching each volunteer’s reaction to the unbelievable, to the unreal in front of their and our faces.

Lightbody says life is about “strange wonders and wonderful strangers”. And he makes us feel it. Every time I visit Cape Town I feel this disconnection between people. It’s unnatural to a (self-proclaimed) Eastern Cape girl (Durban raised)… No one greets. No one looks each other in the eye. No acknowledgement of the other human in one’s immediate vicinity. But in Sleepless Dreams, we strangers spoke and helped each other and advised one another. The first eye contact interaction in 5 days with other people. Magic.

About the card work itself there’s little to say. The man is good. Every moment is met with complete confoundedness; the audience reacts with “wow, “no way”, “what?” “yoh!”

And the message is strong albeit slightly sentimental… Dreams are important and it’s in one’s power to obliterate nightmares.

Sleepless Dreams is superb entertainment. And anyone who uses Radiohead in their soundtrack is in my good books. I recently here make note of a production needing purpose… So forgive what might seem hypocrisy when I say that Sleepless Dreams is good regardless of purporting a larger “message” about life. Because although not overt, I think it does. We must cherish our dreams and banish our nightmares.

Lightbody is a charmer. It’s part of his craft. He does it well. We’re all eating (cards) out of the palm of his hand from the first trick.

He’s magic. It’s magic. A return to wonder. Let go of reason for an hour and let yourself be transported to that place where you used to believe in the otherworldly. You won’t feel like a kid again because it’s not childish, but you’ll remember what the amazement of discovery and the unexplainable feels like. It’s a good feeling.

– Sarah Roberson

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