Saturday, July 31

Comedy: Cox-ing Clever

- October 4, 2011

The new show from Chris Cox – of Radio 1, Dick & Dom and more – combines mind reading with magic, comedy and a story. He tells all to Victoria Nangle

You seem to mix magic with illusions, with comedy, with plenty of other things. What does it say your occupation is on your passport?
It says entertainer. I entertain, that’s the key thing that I set out to do, be it through magic, through mind-reading, through influence, through comedy or through theatre the whole point is that people leave having been entertained. Quite a simple goal, really.

Do you ever use your special skills to slyly get your own way off stage at all? Maybe just to get served first at the bar perhaps?
Ha. I wish. I’m honest with the fact I can’t really do anything you see me do. I’m a mind-reader who can’t read minds. In the real world I simply can’t perform any of this stuff, but on stage with everyone paying attention I can make the impossible possible. In fact, in this show I attempt to answer a question I get asked a lot after shows: ‘Do you use your skills for picking up girls’. I’m not going to give you the answer, though. That’s what the show is all about.

Your press reports say that Dannii Minogue proposed to you. Say what?!

She bloody well did. I was reading her mind –expertly, I might add – and at the end of the trick she went, ‘WOW! Will you marry me?’ Without thinking I instantly said, ‘No it’s OK, I’ll wait for Kylie’. Awkward.

After years of doing a mix of ideas for your shows, what prompted you to embark on one with a linear narrative this year?
I wanted to try something new. There’s a set, there’s lighting design, there’s amazing magic and mind-reading, and more importantly it all hangs together with a beautiful story. I’ve never seen a mind-reading show run on a narrative so I felt like it was time for me to do one. In fact, the show was first written as a one-man play. I think by giving a story, which is loosely themed around love and coincidence, it allows me to slightly manipulate the minds of an audience to give me even more amazing tricks. Also I think it gives you more than just tricks, it connects with the audience on an emotional level and takes the show to more than just a collection of tricks.

What question would you like me to ask to close this interview with?
Ooohh, good question. Cheeky as well. I get it. You run out of questions and then get me to write my own. You are clever little bastards at The Latest. Alright then, how about asking me about my badges?

And what’s the answer to that question?
I’m glad you asked. I have ‘I Love Cox’ badges. I give them out to people who take part in the show and then to everyone after the show. They are great, and yet another reason to book tickets now to see me.

Chris Cox – Fatal Distraction, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton Dome,
9 October, 9.15pm, £12/10,

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