John Archer is well known as a comedy magician.  There are 10 effects in this set of DVDs.  All the 10 tricks are of mental magic in nature.  John Archer has a comical way of interacting with his audience in each of these tricks.


It is not easy to combine comedy with mentalism.  John did it very well.  This is because John Archer is John Archer – he could get away with all the jokes and actions in the DVDs.  It is important that you do not try to emulate all that he did to the audience.  For example, in one of the tricks where he failed to get back the spectator’s burnt bill, he kept sending the spectator back to his seat, only to call him back again after the spectator took a few steps to go away from the stage.  He did this many times throughout the routine, like a running gag.  If you cannot manage this well, it will appear irritating and annoying not only to the spectator who helps you, but to the entire audience as well.  Use those jokes and actions that suit your performing personality.


All the mental tricks have a powerful effect to the audience.  John provides some clever “twists and turns” to classic mental tricks.


“Soundbox” is a performance of 7 Keys To Baldpate.  John asked the helper to take a random key and struck it gently against the side of a champagne glass.  From the sound generated, he could discern the correct key.  All the wrong keys were dropped into a slot at the top of a metal locked box that contained John’s wallet and other valuables – those keys could not be recalled back into play.  An interesting and dramatic presentation.


In “Stick With It”, the total of a series of freely generated numbers turned out to be the telephone number of a restaurant!


“One Lucky Number” is a burnt borrowed bill to wallet routine where the burnt bill was found inside an envelope inside a wallet.  The envelope has the magician’s lucky number written on it which turned out to be the bill’s serial number!  Note that the bill is a borrowed bill from the audience and is not switched for another bill.


The best effect in the DVDs is “Blank Night”, a clever and hilarious presentation for “Bank Night”.  This effect fooled Penn & Teller in their TV show “Fool Us”.  The audience tries to win the performer’s money by choosing from 5 envelopes.  The envelopes have words written on them such as “Something”, “Nothing”, “Yours”, “Mine” and “Sex”.  You can imagine how much fun you can have when a spectator tries to choose one of these envelopes!


“Just For You” is a nice presentation for a rough-and-smooth application of a double blank deck.  “52 Leaver” provides an interesting and intriguing climax to the “52 on one card” gag.  These 2 effects are found in the bonus section and are meant for close-up or walk-around performances.  The other 8 tricks are meant to be performed on stage.


If you are into mental magic, you can find some useful techniques such as: a practical deck switch, a useful switch for “add up the numbers” effect, and an almost angle-free method for “Bank Night”.


Two of the 10 effects are not explained.  This is because they are commercially available from the magic dealers.  You need a “Superlock”, “Correct Key” or similar for “Soundbox” and a special set of gimmicked street directories for “Streetwise”.


The set of DVDs contains 2 discs.  The first DVD gives the performances, and the second DVD the explanations.  Some may find it inconvenient to switch DVDs if they wish to watch first the performance and then the explanation of a particular trick.  This does not affect the quality of the contents of the DVDs.  (4.5/5 stars rating)