By David Kettle

This show feels like the antidote to grand, showy, mind-reading spectaculars. Harrison Richards has a gentle, amiable approach so that on occasion he is almost in danger of belittling the feats he pulls off.  You start to ignore how impressive they are because he seems so self-effacing and eager to please.

Richards has a winning way with his audience, which is just as well because several people find themselves on stage during the show, helping out by matching their drawings with Richards’ interpretations, or apparently having him read their minds.

It would be wrong to give too much away, but several tricks really do leave you wondering how he does it. Producing an exact match for audience suggestions from a sealed envelope is an old trick, although it’s still mind-boggling; but attempting to solve a Rubik’s cube while blindfolded, using only one hand, with just the reactions of an audience member for guidance is quite astounding.

Richard keeps the pace moving and the humour flowing, so that there’s never a chance of pondering how he’s achieved one trick before the next comes along. Such is his affability that it’s only after the show that you realise how skillful he actually is.

Harrison Richards: The Ancient Art of Modern Mind Reading, Sat 2-Fri 8 July (not 4 or 5 July), 8.30pm, The Studio, Augustine United Church