Olympic Reviews

Olympic Reviews

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Colin McLeod - Penguin LIVE Lecture - Review

What is it?
This is a four hour (4 HOUR) lecture by Scottish Mentalist Colin McLeod, for those who don't know, these are broadcast live and then you get a nice download the next day.  An excellent service, for some other views on this, check out my review of Looch Penguin Live lecture.

I had the fortunate ability to watch the majority of this lecture Live (on the internet of course as opposed to in person) which was nice.  How did it go?

Why this instead of similar products?
I do honestly feel that for whatever reason, the British lectures are stronger in the Penguin LIVE series (it might just be personal experience and taste but hear me out).

My top three are (in no particular order):

Colin McLeod
Peter Turner

(Others are good too like Patrick Redford, we can discuss that another time)

I like them for different reasons and this is why you should buy this instead of other products.

I like Colin's lecture because it is 4 hours of top material/discussions of real stuff.  Some close up, some stage (mostly transferable), some card work, some work from his performances at the Edinburgh Festival, some new ideas, some old ideas and it's all for an amazingly low price.

It's very difficult to quantify this objectively but compared to the price of some eBooks and DVDs, this is incredible value.

Does it work?
Yes - it's all incredible.  There was one section that I thought was a little obvious in part of a routine, but it's not a full stage show environment and the effect was still incredible.  Both the presentations and methods taught are excellent and all very workable.  Colin discusses ways to make things your own and how to create different presentations which is very valuable.

There is not a lot of compromise in the effects, by that I mean not a lot that I imagine people being uncomfortable with performing, it's all real methods.  This WILL work.

How adaptable is it?
The majority of the work is on the line between stage and close up.  There aren't an awful lot of routines that you can't work for both in some way, in this lecture there are a couple, but it's nothing major.  Don't forget, these are some stage performances to a pretty small audience in the Penguin/Papercrane studios place.

Colin gives advice on making your work different and adapting it to you, so for this, he must score highly here.

How is it as a package?
It's a little bit self indulgent at times but when the material is this good throughout, I think we can cut him some slack.  Colin has his persona down exactly how he wants it, which comes across, though it's not always my cup of tea, i'm sure it goes down very well with his real life audiences though.  Colin was very aware of the audience at home and explained everything very well, some of the Penguin LIVE lectures are better than most DVDs.  More material, higher production values etc.

It can't go without mentioning the excellent production values again on this release from Penguin, to be able to broadcast this live, then offer a download is excellent and for such a small price.

There is a vast amount of material in this lecture and to create a list of all the pieces would not do it justice.  This is something that different people will take away different things.  A finite list cannot be created to cover every little nuance.  

A selection of my highlights though is worthy:
The first bag choice - this is EXACTLY what I had been looking for, honestly.  One of those moments where it just fits something I had been searching for since seeing Max Maven's Multiplicity, so simple, so powerful...

The larger memory section was excellent, a great framework of a method, would work best in a stage show.  Really nice.  There are so many things in this, little pieces that make such a larger work.  Wow!

His coin in the hand routine was very clever, a great example of Colin's overall thinking throughout.  This sums up my opinion of a typical Colin routine.

There is a larger card section which is excellent.

His freewill and bookless test are included too though almost lose something by being included in this mega lecture. 

The one annoyance I have about the Lecture (you know it's good if this is all I can complain about) is the participants.  They are getting too comfortable, it's weirdly morphing into a version of the L&L audience but instead of overreacting it's a different way of not being a set of real people.  It makes me a bit uncomfortable.  It's a weird thing to say but after 4 hours you start noticing little pieces (and they really start getting to me).

Colin wins the award for saying a man's name the most times in one effect also which is nice.

Will I use it?
Yes I will, and I already have.  Each piece in this is fantastic, very powerful.  I can't imagine anyone being a mentalism fan and coming out disappointed.  After having watched it again, I feel strongly still that there is a gulf in class emerging between different sets of performers.  To a lay audience, I imagine this would look as real as it could be.

If I lost everything, would I get it again?
Yes, not a doubt.

I am so glad that this was a download, there is no way you could really appreciate Colin's little touches and subtleties without watching a number of times.

This is one of the best items I have purchased in a long time.

If you have any suggestions for reviews please get in touch at:


I can't guarantee I will get a chance to review everything but I will do my best!

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