Review: Das Spiel: Are You Part Of The Game?, VAULT Festival

“Spiel, spiel, spiel”

With The X-Files returning to our TV screens, there’s never been a better time to want to believe but dear readers, I’m a bit of a sceptic. When it comes to the world of magic and mentalism, something dourly pragmatic wins out and so even when I was offered tickets to Darren Brown’s latest show I turned them down – it’s all a fix I protested. But let it not be said that I’m entirely closed-minded and so when the info for Das Spiel: Are You Part Of The Game? crossed my path, I opted to take the plunge. It fit neatly into my evenings schedule at the Vault festival and at just an hour, it was a risk I was willing to take.

And I’m glad I did as it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Philipp Oberlohr’s mind reading show aims ‘at the crossover between magic and theatre’ but works essentially as a piece of entertainment down to the undeniable and undimmed charm of the man himself. He plays the role of the disingenuous foreigner perfectly, disarming doubters and deniers with a bashful smile here and a quip about linguistic frailties there, and thus he sets the scene wonderfully for The Game.

I won’t delve into any detail for the surprises are there to be discovered once you’ve sat down, but it fully covers the gamut of what you might expect from a mind-reading show. Where Das Spiel succeeded for me was in fully embracing its lo-fi charm in its realm of storytelling, fashioning a narrative that pulls us all in even whilst focusing on individual detail – Oberlohr a flirtatiously enigmatic presence at the centre throughout.

There’s just the one show left in the run and I’d recommend you go along if you’re at a loose end. Do I believe? I’m still not sure if I’m brutally honest but when testing my preconceptions is this much fun, I really don’t mind.

Running time: 1 hour 
Booking until 14th February

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