Writer: James Hamilton
Reviewer: Edie Ranvier
The time has come. Luke Jermay, the most hotly-anticipated act of the London Horror Festival, has brought his psychic show to the Etcetera Theatre and, as midnight strikes, there’s already a packed house of excited half-believers, nervously eager to hear their futures from the mouth of the seer.
Jermay is a veteran of mind-reading, magic, and illusion shows, with performances in 20-plus countries under his belt, and it shows in his slick handling of his audience. There’s a brief apocalyptic video clip to announce his arrival, then his offstage voice instructs us to collect pencil and paper from the stage and write down our names, birthdays and one burning question about our future.
In person, the great Jermay is stocky, tattooed, besuited, gravely humorous. He recruits two audience members to blindfold him with duct-tape in an elaborate ritual, then has our papers collected in and shuffled in a box, drawing them out one by one to form a “psychic connection” with the writer.
Then the magic begins. “I sense a female energy from this paper…a Libra…born at the end of the month…tell me if this is you,” he intones, crumpling the (apparently) to-him-invisible paper.
He’s spot-on with almost every birthday and seems to mind-read every question (it’s almost as if he can see the papers through that blindfold. Perish the thought.)
A frisson goes through the audience as each new subject tells him: “Yes – you’re right – yes, that makes sense.”
The predictions themselves are a touch more disappointing, not to say bland. Make up your mind. Follow your dreams. Take time to love yourself. Don’t have “casual” cosmetic surgery.
It feels more like an agony column than a psychic reading – but the atmosphere is warm and confessional, with occasional comic awkwardness: one woman who’s asked a question about her partner cheating on her is told: “I don’t think you have any right to worry about him cheating on you when you’re cheating on him!” Some tricky discussions may follow the show, one imagines.
Jermay winds up his hour-long act with a suite of prophecies, against which he invites us to hold him to account. Look out for a scandal involving Japanese vampire teenagers, a leaked Miley Cyrus sex tape (not the hardest prediction, he admits), and delays near the O² at 5:15 pm on 24 October (ditto).
Oh, and he gives us the lottery numbers. That £10 ticket could be an investment.
Reviewed on 23 October 2015. The London Horror Festival runs until 31 October | Image: Contributed