The Unfair Advantage

Magic and mystery combine in Harrison Milas' enigmatic show

theatre review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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The Unfair Advantage
Published 18 Feb 2018

Harrison Milas holds all the cards in The Unfair Advantage. A few hours before the show begins an e-mail arrives with a location and the instruction to wait at the appointed hour. Looking around, it's clear there are a few other similarly bewildered people here. Once we're all gathered, our genial host brings us to a dimly lit poker den. Going into too much detail about what follows would ruin the illusion (and breach the mandatory confidentiality agreement) but it's an introduction to cheating and trickery from the former card shark. The intimate setting works well, it's a small audience and we're all in close proximity to the action, but even when Milas explains what he's doing his dextrous movements make it hard to follow. Some of the more elaborate trickery is unexplained and leaves us scratching our heads as to how exactly he's pulled it off. Perhaps even more entertaining than the tricks are his tales of rigging poker games as an underage dealer – and it would have been intriguing to hear more in a similar vein. Over the course of an hour we learn about second deals and shuffles, but these are techniques that have taken Milas years to perfect. To show us how they're done is fun, to teach us how to replicate them in an hour would require some real magic.