Review: Colin Cloud: Sinful

Mind-reading abounds in Colin Cloud's Sinful, a show that encourages the audience to admit to their deepest, darkest indiscretions

cabaret review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 16 Aug 2019
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Colin Cloud

Everyone is both a saint and a sinner, trustworthy and devious, honest and deceitful. Colin Cloud capitalises on all these hidden depths in his latest mind-bending show, Sinful.

While a clever production of mind-reading and sleight of hand, Sinful lacks originality or theatricality in its execution. Each trick is precisely conceived and delivered with exacting detail, all the requisite pre-ambling patter and a variety of typical audience platitudes. But predicting what is written on cards or disappearing engagement rings, only to find them on audience fingers, has been done time and time again.

With special guest Chloé Crawford, Cloud has more than a traditional assistant – he has a partner in crime, a wing woman he can bounce his rapport off. Yet Crawford is under-utilised in this show, too much a filler act to help eke out the scene transitions.

Sinful is most impressive when performed in quick-fire. Instantly revealing throwaway details from random members of the audience is impressive, precisely because it’s done in such a scatter gun style. Name, date of birth, occupation – all rattled off without pause, as if they are just an everyday occurrence. The pace and accuracy in these are what make them stand out as memorable, as opposed to the drawn out pieces that drag more than they delight.

Cloud continues to build suspense in his show, the final moments a culmination of an hour’s worth of carefully crafted work. But no matter how much he ups the ante, Sinful never truly astounds.