VISAGE – Seen and Revealed | Lesley Stones, Daily Maverick / Artslink.co.za
VISAGE – Revealing the Secrets of the Mind recently presented at UJ Arts Centre, Auckland Park by the mentalist Michael Abrahamson, followed on the successes of his two previous shows, Powerbrain in 2011 and the sequel, Powerbrain-The Mentalist, Sequel in 2012.
What some critics said of VISAGE:
“It’s a fascinating show for a thinking audience, and leaves you wondering if you’re neglecting the powers hidden within you, too. While his memory skills are impressive, far more intriguing is the mind reading. Visage is an entertaining exercise in mental prowess.” Lesley Stones...Daily Maverick/Artslink.co.za
“I go along simply to be amused and amazed. Abrahamson certainly achieves both objectives perfectly. Abrahamson’s wonderful memory techniques and mathematical skills genuinely amazed and thrilled me and I recommended his show without hesitation. “Moira de Swardt…Artscomments
“The show, or perhaps more accurately Abrahamson’s skills, is utterly baffling and completely extraordinary. “ Genevieve Vieira… Citizen
As with Abrahamson’s previous two shows, VISAGE made use of mathematics, memory skills, body language, psychology, eye movements and many other ideas in interactive, fun ways that kept audiences spellbound throughout. “Now this amazing mathematician and baffler of brains has pumped up the pizzazz to make his new show, Visage - Revealing the Secrets of the Mind, a little showier. He hasn’t resorted to gold shirts and sequinned assistants, thank goodness, but he has lights and music, and a slicker feel thanks to director Richard Nosworthy.“ Lesley Stones
Abrahamson, formerly a magician, became fascinated with the arts when he was very young; at the age of six he assisted a magician at a cousin’s birthday party and became “hooked”. He then joined a magic school and learned magical secrets and began developing his own shows. He moved from magic to mentalism about some ten years ago after he had seen mentalism show presented by a visiting exponent of the art. “Michael Abrahamson is a versatile entertainer, comfortable in sports broadcasting, academic lecturing and in general dealings with people,” says freelance reviewer Moira de Swardt.
VISAGE – Revealing the Secrets of the Mind showed audiences again what mentalism is really about. Says Abrahamson, “Mentalism uses the five senses to create an illusion of a sixth sense; It is effectively an art form that uses mathematics, memory skills, body language, eye movement, psychological suggestion and other skills in order to influence audience members into specific, but non-threatening and non-personal courses of action.”
The Citizen’s Genevieve Vieira affirms this, “he has been developing his mental and intuitive abilities for many years, resulting in what he terms “a highly developed sixth sense”. The sixth sense here refers not to a subtle perception of the supernatural realm such as ghosts and angels, but to a collective working of the other five senses that enhances extra-sensory perception and high-accuracy intuition.” This makes for very compelling entertainment – “‘If it was magic I’d understand,’ a man in front of me whispers. And that’s exactly it. Abrahamson isn’t using magic. There is no smoke and mirrors, rabbits stuffed into hats or people primed to give a certain answer. He uses his five senses to create a sixth sense, combining maths, memory, and watching for eye movements and body language to somehow influence people into specific courses of action.”
Besides performing and presenting corporate shows Abrahamson also runs courses in memory, mind-building, study skills and exam techniques. These courses are offered to school learners, university and college students, teachers, parents, corporate clients and anyone else who can benefit from acquiring these skills in their day-to-day lives.