Seven Stories is a reality-bending mix of illusion, storytelling, myth and intrigue. Vyom Sharma does away with the traditional idea of the magician that dons a cheesy top hat and fake smile, and opts for a down-to-earth, charming persona that wins crowds over. Unlike many magic shows that consist of gimmick after gimmick, Sharma has created a unique story around each trick, giving the show an extra level of wonder and sincerity.
With an original score performed live by Stephanie Spiers, Seven Stories is cleverly crafted, though it gets a little confusing at times with unclear distinctions between each tale. It felt as if the dialogue was over-rehearsed, but the sleight-of-hand magic wasn’t quite polished which lead to a few jerky hand-movements which let the show down.
Performed in a relatively large performance space at Chapel off Chapel, the magical content doesn’t succeed in filling the venue. The use of a large screen on the side of the stage for smaller-scale tricks is an obvious indicator that the show would be far better suited to a smaller stage. To be sitting only five rows back and watching majority of the show on the big screen was unsettling, and detracted from the potential intimacy it could have provided.
Another disappointing element is what seems to be a recurring ploy in Magic: reveal a small secret to the audience to gain their trust, before shocking them with completely separate trick. Card magic is indeed far more difficult than it looks, and it seems that by teaching the audience aspects of card manipulation, Sharma hoped to gain their respect for the difficulty of the tricks he did perform.
Despite this, Sharma’s skill in mentalism is a definite highlight, and the branch of magic most suited to a larger audience. He brings the evening to an astonishing finish, tying all ends nicely together and creating the sense of wonder that Seven Stories strives to achieve.