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UNSOLVED: MATT TARRANT @ The Palace Society gets 7.5/10

Unsolved @ The Palace Society, Elizabeth’s Palace (for Fringe)
Starring Matt Tarrant
Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Matt Tarrant is a magician/mentalist from Adelaide, came fifth on Survivor and has appeared at Fringe for the last several years. So those there to see him on Wednesday night instead of out watching the blood moon knew they were in for a treat. From the minute we walked into the tent, the intrigue had been created by asking us to enter our email addresses into his site – telling us it would be worth it at the end.

While it wasn’t packed, there was still a decent number of people there to see what Matt Tarrant was all about. As he introduced his friend Tom, he made the point that magic has changed. That people no longer wanted to suspend belief and instead, after his shows, would come up and demand to know HOW it all happened. So for his new show, he wanted to make it completely unsolvable.

He told us how he had been performing for the last eight years and that for his very first show, he had designed this crazy trick but nerves had gotten the better of him and he messed it up. He didn’t try it again until last weekend but things kept happening – either he made a mistake or had equipment failures. “You may be the first audience to see it work.” It was definitely an impressive trick and you could see just how easy it would be to make a mistake.

He introduced Bruce a first time magician from Las Vegas who involved members of the audience for the next couple of tricks. While I won’t give this one away for those who are yet to see Tarrant, I will give you a dad joke warning which made the whole audience groan. Tarrant laughed and apologised saying that he knew it was bad but that joke was entirely for him.

After getting an audience member on stage to help out with a colouring in project (again I won’t give it away), he told us a beautiful story about his biggest influence in his life – his Great Nanna Winnie who always told him that “anything is possible”. He told us how she always had stories to tell about all the trinkets in her house but there was one particular item that she would never talk about. He inherited the item after she passed away and told how he only opened it at his lowest point.

He had the item on stage and after choosing an audience member, Tarrant had her come up on stage and had her open it. What was inside was a special item engraved with a message just for her.

For his last trick, he had six audience members who were chosen at random stand up and provide numbers. One of them went up on stage and was handed something to show those numbers printed out. It was then that he asked us to pull out our phones and check the video that we had been sent. Unfortunately, technical issues meant that we couldn’t see it then and the big reveal could not happen. It was less than five minutes after the show however, that we were able to watch a video that had been uploaded a week ago.

While the failure of the big reveal at the show itself may have left all of us feeling flat (for us and for him), the disappointment was soon replaced by wonder upon watching the video. Judging from the exclamations as people watched it at Elizabeth’s Palace, there will be plenty wanting to go back to see if he pulls it off again – this time with different outcomes.


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