We have it on good authority that this man is not a witch
There is something incredible about performance magic done well. It doesn’t matter if the trick involves shuffling cards or sawing people in half. When master magicians are at work, what they do should seem impossible. Drummond Money-Coutts aka DMC definitely fits that league, if his tricks in Death By Magic are anything to go by.
The show starts with a notice that the tricks on show are real and so are the reactions of onlookers. No editing gimmicks or planted marks. It’s good they did this, because otherwise you would not believe some of the stuff that goes down in the first episode.
DMC lands in Cape Town to revisit a notorious failed trick. This is the theme of the show: every episode he tracks down a fatality caused by a magic stunt and then tries to do the trick himself.
But in the preamble around this, he visits local spots and amazes people with street magic. He guesses a woman’s choice among tourist knick knacks and then… well, no sense spoiling that one.
In another trick, he gets a couple to go on what should be an impossible treasure hunt. Even a simple coin trick is quite something to behold with this guy in the room. He can play a crowd and he has some, ah, serious tricks up his sleeve. You will shout out in disbelief more than once, often competing against the people he just dazzled on the show.
The most delightful thing about magicians is that they dispel cynicism and give you a bit of wonder back. A moment of WTF passes through your mind and you can’t help but accept the impossible. Even today, where it’s not hard to conjure amazing things on movie screens, to see someone bend reality right in front of your eyes is mindblowing. It’s the stuff that separates awe-inspiring magic shows from the rest.
There’s a bit of street magic, a bit of history and one pretty insane trick at the end.
Death By Magic is absolutely in that class. But it’s also the presentation and premise of the show that makes it so refreshing. There’s a bit of street magic, a bit of history and one pretty insane trick at the end. Our host decides to emulate the failed trick – where a magician couldn’t escape a straitjacket before a truck ran over him – only this time with a train. It’s worth seeing just for the reaction of the onlookers.
If this is the calibre of the rest of the series, Death By Magic is going to be a standout show… as long as DMC doesn’t have his own magical accident. But what do I know? The guy can probably fly. It’s magic, after all.