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A magical night where nothing is as it seems

Stuart Lightbody, that wickedly cute scamp who played card tricks on us in Grahamstown and at the Alexander Bar, has turned into a cunning sorcerer with much more than just a few tricks up his sleeve. 

Stuart Lightbody, the Man with the Golden Hands (and the silver tongue, it turns out), prepares to hypnotize audience member Anne Taylor

He is now a man with a hairy chin who talks dreamily about how people like him are perfectly suited for a life of espionage. He smiled warmly as he hypnotized an innocent mother of two from Tokai and recruited her as an accomplice in his wizardry.

On his journey to becoming the Man with the Golden Hands, a master magician with an international reputation, Stuart has added layers of intrigue, trickery and mystery to his repertoire of illusion and magic. It feels like he has moved into another league.

On the opening night of his show at the Kalk Bay Theatre on May 3, he somehow magicked his (hypnotized, but apparently innocent) red-headed recruit into naming three exact cards that other audience members had drawn randomly from a pack and held in their hands far from the stage.

This was just one in a steady stream of ‘blow me away’/’how the hell did he do that’ acts of illusion he pulled off right in front of our eyes in the charming and intimate theatre.

This is an unforgettable and brilliant evening’s entertainment where nothing is as it seems. Like the cute young Stuart we remember, the Man with The Golden Hands is a consummate showman and everything is served with quips.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is his obvious love for the history of magic and his respect for his forebears in the world of illusion. As he has in the past, Stuart pays respect to magic’s long history and celebrates the accomplishments of other masters. 

A new and interesting narrative is revealed when he talks about the skills of distraction a magician works to perfect, and how these skills also make for an excellent spy. Combining magic with a little history, Stuart tells us about one famous magician who crossed over into the world of espionage and wrote guide books for the FBI. The two books have recently been declassified and make for excellent reading, we were told. 

As always, there is so much more than what meets the eye when South Africa’s favourite magician comes back to town. The second of two shows is sold out, but a third performance has been added on. Book tickets

What we said before … 5 July 2016

A master of illusion … and charm

Back in the day

If he wasn’t so damn cute, Stuart Lightbody would be absolutely maddening. The magician is smart, funny and sweet, adorable even, as he works his tricks on the room in his show, Sleepless Dreams, at the National Arts Festival.

He is totally charming and relaxed as he pulls one trick after another, running through so many seemingly impossible illusions in front of our very eyes.

In addition to his not inconsiderable charm, Lightbody’s obvious deep love for the world of magic and illusion helps us to walk away charmed and amazed rather than hold him down and tickle him until he tells us how the hell he did that.

Tickets from Quicket (which you had better be)

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