Arts online Preview

Preview: Playing The Hand by Darren and Jerryl

When we caught young magicians Darren Tien and Jerryl Tan’s online magic show last year, we were impressed by their can-do attitude and innovation, finding a way to make magic work in a digital space amidst the pandemic.

Now, they’re back, this time collaborating with The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s Flipside programme, for yet another live virtual theatrical magic show. Titled Playing The Hand, the Zoom show will feature the magic duo performing impossible feats onscreen, and even get you involved with a little audience participation. Coupled with a humorous narrative interwoven with personal stories, enthralling illusions and masterful sleights of hand, and you’ve got yourself entertainment for the weekend.

Behind the scenes

Written by Darren & Jerryl, directed by veteran playwright-performer Dwayne Lau, and produced by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Playing the Hand offers audiences “front row seats” on a journey through the two best friends and illusionists’ real life adventures, stitched together by clever magic and comedy. Each vignette draws on the familiar yet immerses viewers into a different world as they touch on identity and authenticity, all while inspiring wonder and evoking laughter.

“With Playing the Hand, we want to champion our vision of fighting hard for our passion and going against the grain. Ambitious as it seems, but through this show and our stories, we hope to inspire people to pursue their passion and get out of their comfort zones.”

– Jerryl Tan

Playing the Hand comes after the successful run of Beyond Virtual (2020), the first iteration of Darren & Jerryl’s live virtual magic show. As with its predecessor and many live performances before, Playing the Hand continues the illusionists’ efforts to evolve magic beyond entertainment, and into an artform.

“We’re thrilled to be part of Flipside, which embraces playfulness and creativity, and to have the support of the team to achieve a new style of magic shows. The pandemic may have forced us inward, but it opened a great learning opportunity and chance to reinvent ourselves,” adds Darren Tien.

“With current challenges, we wanted a show that transcends the virtual medium, and not be confined to preconceptions of a screen. We hope that this will be the start of collaborations with other artists to create more engaging multi-disciplinary work.”

-Darren Tien

As part of the duo’s unique brand of theatrical magic, the show comes with a Mystery Package (for Singaporean ticket holders), that’ll equip audiences with curious oddities, such as 3D glasses, anamorphic illusions and more. The interaction-driven experience will also have audiences share their own anecdotes, plus become their own curators of wonders as they create moments of miracles live, along with the cheery pair.

Behind the scenes

For maximum engagement, tickets are limited to just 30 per seating, such that almost everyone gets a chance to be part of the show. Bringing the wonders of magic from their living room to yours, come re-examine the notions of perception and introspection, and go on this intimate, magic-infused journey with Darren & Jerryl this August.

Playing The Hand runs online from 6th to 15th August 2021. Tickets available from The Esplanade

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