I had to see Declan Dineen Lies for Money, not least because I found the title of his show refreshingly honest in a festival where every show is, it seems, ‘five stars’, ‘unmissable’ or just ‘brilliant’. Declan describes himself as ‘a magician, writer and all around good guy’ and I spoke with him before his show. When you learn his early inspirations were James Randi, the American mathematician and science writer Martin Gardiner and cult magic de-bunkers Penn & Teller you understand where his show gets it edge from. Declan first performs then deconstructs a series of card and other tricks, alongside a narrative demonstrating how easy it can be to get taken in by charlatans. Part of Declan Dineen’s charm for me was the recognition that, intelligent as we all might like to think ourselves, few of us are truly immune from some sense of wonder or mystery at the seemingly inexplicable. The other part of his charm is that, having explained the trick, you still can’t help but admire the skill with which he performed it.
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