It begins so simply. Six unremarkable ping-pong balls, thrown into the air and caught by six of the forty or so audience members seated in the cosy space above The Three Sisters pub on the Cowgate. From such small and unassuming beginnings, Segal spins spectacular feats of mind-reading and psychological trickery. Little stunts, impressive in their mysteriousness, grow into mind-melting and seemingly impossible tricks.
As a host, Doug Segal succeeds where some similar Fringe acts would falter. Segal is unaffected by affectation, renouncing the paranormal “mystique” of the “Mind Reader” handle and reminding his audience that the skill is pure psychology.
He carries himself with a greatly sociable confidence, greeting the audience like old friends and welcoming them into his well-controlled and delightful world. His delivery is warm and natural, wittily responding to the mood of the room and totally ingratiating himself within three minutes of stage time.
Segal holds tightly onto his audience’s attention despite the regrettably noisy venue in the courtyard below. Indeed, the outside world largely falls away during Segal’s highly-participatory hour long show. Top priced Fringe shows do not come much better than Doug Segal’s I Know What You’re Thinking: this is Free Fringe gold.