REVIEW: Dynamo, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle.

Dynamo
Dynamo

With his face hidden by his battered hoodie, Dynamo looks every inch the ne’re-do-well from a dodgy estate out to steal your iPhone.

The difference between Dynamo and the sink estate ruffian is that when he gets your mobile, he’s prepared to return it … albeit in a glass bottle!

This was just one of the signature stunts the Bradford-born street illusionist impressed with on his big stage Seeing Is Believing performance in Newcastle.

Dynamo - real name Steven Frayne - has propelled himself into the limelight with that David Blaine-style mix of scratch-your-head-in-amazement sleight of hand card trickery and jaw dropping super stunts.

He’s walked on water in the Thames and levitated in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, but could it translate to Newcastle’s arena? Well, yes and no.

What works well on TV doesn’t always quite work on stage.

It’s one thing witnessing card tricks from two feet away, quite another from 300 yards. Okay, there are large TV screens relaying the tricks, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility of some digital deception taking place.

Dynamo has made his name as the unassuming kid who performs incredible magic, before exiting stage left leaving his audience bewildered. In a two-hour live show, ‘unassuming’ shouldn’t cut it - and he can’t keep disappearing … unless it’s in a puff of smoke.

But then Dynamo’s schtick is the introvert bedroom trickster turned global superstar.

His, at times, stilted and slightly nervous delivery is endearing. He’s not the glitzy showman, but he has a warm-hearted honesty that clearly appeals to his fan base.

He plays on his ordinary background and his magic tricks are punctuated by a big screen cartoon story of his life.

The rags to riches animation help link the magic stunts and propel the act to its spectacular finale.

To further endear wee Dynamo to our hearts we’re fed film clips and stills of his family, including his granny trying her hand at a car trick of her own - and she fooled me.

Audience participation helps keep the connection with the crowd and there are enough “how did he do that?” moments to keep everyone entertained, though Dynamo’s request to keep the details of his act a secret prevents me from saying too much.

For Dynamo diehards the little fella delivers in spades (and clubs, hearts and diamonds), for the rest he doesn’t quite walk on water but just about manages to pull the rabbit out of the hat … or, these days, should that be put the mobile in the bottle?