A white man with short hair sits at a table, he is holding up a blue playing card. Sitting opposite him is a girl wearing headphones
Magic

Festival of Ideas: Close-up

Vincent Gambini
18 performances between Fri 24 May 2024, various times
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World Premiere

Close-up is a brief magic performance on headphones, for one spectator at a time.

Inside a working café, surrounded by unsuspecting customers, magician Vincent Gambini invites you to sit at a table and watch a 10-minute performance. In front of your very eyes, playing cards transform inexplicably and sugar cubes vanish without a trace. But as you listen to the magician’s pre-recorded voice and the sounds of the café on headphones, the line between reality and fiction becomes increasingly thin: is this a real café, or a film set filled with actors?

Combining expert sleight-of-hand with the dreamlike nature of cinema, Close-up invites you to briefly reimagine everyday life as an uncanny illusion.

Supported by Farnham Maltings and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. 

‘This thoughtful, playful and multi-layered piece will make you question how we watch and what we see.’
The Guardian (on Gambini’s ‘This is not a magic show’)

A collaboration with the School of Media, Arts and Humanities, University of Sussex, The Festival of Ideas harnesses the transformative power of the arts and humanities to fashion new ways of thinking about the past, present and future.