You have to be careful calling any richly tattooed Glaswegian a ‘mentalist’, but it’s how Colin Cloud described himself at his bum-flashing 2012 audition for Britain’s Got Talent. Trousers firmly on, his 2016 show is even more unerringly accurate in his divination of dates of birth, pin codes, the person you first kissed, and that time you had sex on the roof of a hotel in Amsterdam. I almost thought for a second it was me, but mine was in Sardinia.
Airlines know weeks in advance whether you’ll choose chicken or fish on your flight because they mine passenger metrics to calculate more men choose red meat, women opt for salmon, younger passengers like spicier food. It’s a hyper-intensified version of this methodology that makes Cloud the sort of savant personified in the ‘Sherlock’ TV series. Cumberbatch even sounds like a cloud formation.
The randomizing is excellently done and you’ll almost certainly sit near someone who mutters ‘f*** me’ when her intimate dream from the night before last is described in some detail from the stage.
This year, Cloud turns pied piper and leads a substantial chunk of the audience out through the streets of Edinburgh on a quest to find a paying punter dispatched to an address picked at random from unseen audience suggestions. That he’s carrying an antidote to the poison with which Cloud has injected himself live on stage just adds to the frisson.
Does he return to that same spot every night at 10.20?
You’ll have to follow him to find out. And you really should.
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