EDINBURGH 2023: Review: COLIN CLOUD - AFTER DARK, Underbelly - McEwan Hall

Very little can remain secret when forensic mind reader Colin Cloud sets his sights on you

By: Aug. 25, 2023
Edinburgh Festival
EDINBURGH 2023: Review: COLIN CLOUD - AFTER DARK, Underbelly - McEwan Hall
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EDINBURGH 2023: Review: COLIN CLOUD - AFTER DARK, Underbelly - McEwan Hall

The WTF moments come thick and fast in Colin Cloud’s EdFringe show After Dark, which ran until 21 August at glorious McEwan Hall. 

Wowed by the imposing space itself (although admittedly not as imposing as some of the other stages Colin has recently played, from London's West End to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas), audience members were immediately kept busy with origami tasks and info-sharing requests that set the tone for a highly interactive evening. 

And it was no doubt nice for this Scot to be back on home turf after a whirlwind, global five years since his appearance on several Got Talent franchises. As we watched him whizz effortlessly through one mind-blowing mind-reading task after another, it was hard not to be mesmerised by what he’s achieved – even though he brings us down to earth with a bump as he tells some of his own dark secrets while somehow reading ours.  

Because very little can remain secret when Colin has set his sights on you. He breezily unearthed secrets from countless audience members, whether dotted through the auditorium or with him on stage. With permission, he exposed titbits even some of their families didn’t know – from revelations about brand-new pregnancies to memories of holiday misadventures. Jaws dropped one after another, and I found it infuriatingly fun trying to figure out how he did it. Stooges? Body language? An ear piece? Magic? He wasn’t telling – but he never read a foot wrong. 

It was fascinating and fantastic in equal measure. Colin packed endless “how the hell did he do that”s into 60 minutes, leaving us wanting way more when he left the stage after his big finale. 

From a narrative perspective, it was occasionally chaotic and a little hard to keep up with the many brilliant things happening all at once (which is possibly a snapshot into how Colin’s brain works) but that didn’t detract from the show; if anything it made it more compelling. 

This was one of the most eagerly-anticipated mentalist shows of the Fringe, and I can see why. Colin Cloud is a real-life Sherlock Holmes who promises a magical mix of the gritty, shocking, funny, emotional and – of course – astonishing all in one. 

For now, you’ve missed him here in the UK but definitely look him up if you’re in Vegas! 


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