Kevin Quantum: Anti-Gravity

Aug 18 2017 | By More

★★★★☆ Thrilling

Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14): Wed 2 – Sun 27 August 2017
Review by Lucy Evans

Magician-scientist hybrid Kevin Quantum brings a show that truly seems to defy gravity to the Debating Hall of the Gilded Balloon Teviot. 

Following 10 years in physics and 10 years in magic, the founder of the Edinburgh International Magic Festival has all the skills to turn Gilded Balloon’s Debating Hall into an epic anti-gravity chamber.

Kevin Quantum. Pic: Matt Turner.

Science is clearly Kevin Quantum’s first love, and he begins with a lecture-style introduction. Once the concept of anti-gravity is explained though, he quickly moves from science to magic, as he knows his audience is primarily here for the tricks. The first is a sure crowd-pleaser – in it he creates a drink from thin air, and the gentleman who earns the beer is especially delighted.

Quantum throws magic in with string theory, energy conservation and black holes. Relating scientific theory to tricks is a great idea and would truly do wonders in a science festival, but by nature of the subject the tricks themselves are never quite as exciting as the scientific references would suggest. Nonetheless, the concept provides a fantastic arc for the show and give it a storyline that works well at the fringe.

The core of Quantum’s show revolves around 5 levels of anti-gravity, with each new level naturally increasing in impressiveness and providing the perfect space for audience participation. The feats of levitation are incredible, from floating bank notes to tables to people. He even achieves his dream of flying himself at the end, which is a satisfying finale – that is until an unfortunate flash of light reveals the levitation equipment.

His sleight of hand is immaculate. It’s here that his training from Penn & Teller shines through, as even when explaining why the tricks work he still manages to deceive the audience.


The best trick though isn’t levitation or disappearing objects, but rather what seems to be hypnosis. It even seems to work on those not willing to participate – one gentleman was thoroughly unconvinced when he was called up, as though dragged to the show by a friend, but by the end he was laughing and very much on side, making it all the more impressive.

Quantum’s show is all very well produced, and gives the overall effect of a truly dangerous science show. There is enough smoke, flashing lights and emotive music to enhance rather than overwhelm, and it’s all well chosen – Defying Gravity (the instrumental version) even plays while the table flies. A member of the Magic Circle, Quantum won a Best magic Weekly award at Adelaide Fringe this year and is clearly well versed in both magic and how to craft a successful fringe show.

This magician’s impressive feats leave the whole audience captivated, no matter their ages. More direct use of the scientific content would make the show truly fascinating, but nevertheless the show very much reaches its goal, leaving the audience speechless and begging the question – how on earth did he do that?

Running time: 1 hour (no interval)
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Teviot Row House, EH8 9AJ (Venue 14)
Wed 2 – Sun 27 Aug 2017
Daily: 4:30pm (not 3, 14)
Book tickets on the EdFringe website:
Facebook: @KevinQuantum
Twitter: @kevinquantum


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