He has been described as the next Derren Brown – but forensic mind reader Colin Cloud says he is more like Sherlock Holmes. However you wish to describe him, one word springs to mind – genius.

He reads minds. He can read your mind. He reads it just like the imaginary book you just made up. The press release for his show said Uri Geller described him as “one of the greatest thought readers of all time”. Against that, it also said Ant and Dec screamed in disbelief at his act although, to be fair, the Geordie duo scream in disbelief most Saturday evenings. Most impressive, though, was that Cloud once left Jonathan Ross speechless, something than endeared me to Cloud even before I went to see his show in Edinburgh on Saturday. Having now witnessed the man from Harthill in action, I suspect Jonathan Ross wasn’t the only person to be left speechless.

The pre-show blurb described him as entertaining and endearing, and that’s exactly how I felt watching Cloud in action.

In the rather intimate atmosphere of Dynamic Earth, in the shadow of the Scottish Parliament building, Cloud astonished his audience with a mesmerising performance that really was mind-boggling. Some mind-readers can be rather serious about their profession which is understandable given it can be quite a serious subject. However, seconds after taking the stage, Cloud immediately struck a rapport with his audience with humorous quips which set the tone for a hugely entertaining evening. Naturally, this kind of show involves audience participation and, inevitably, there were some in Saturday evening’s audience who were hoping Cloud didn’t select them as part of his act. However, Cloud’s humour and affable approach set those he did select at ease and, unlike some other performers of his ilk, he didn’t make fun of them; rather he laughed with them and they with him.

Now, I won’t go into detail about the contents of the show for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, I guarantee anyone going to see the great man will be truly amazed by what they have witnessed. How he managed to delve into people’s minds the way he did was quite incredible to witness and brought gasps of astonishment from some in the hugely appreciative audience. At the end, just as Cloud was declaring his thanks to those who came along and the audience eased into their coats to head home, the great man delivered a pièce de résistance which nearly took my breath away.

On a Saturday evening when millions of people are slouched on the sofa watching Britain’s Got Talent on the small box, Colin Cloud proved without question that Scotland not only has talent – it has a gifted performer. Cloud will be appearing in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 31 July and throughout August. I urge you to go and see him – you literally won’t believe your eyes.

Edinburgh Reporter Rating – 5 Stars (as well as a rapidly rising one)