Oil and Water Deluxe :: First Published in “Singapore Lecture Notes” in 1985 :: 18 Pages
So we see the return of another updated Ben Harris Miracle. I must say, I was genuinely excited about receiving this one. The classic plots of magic such as 'oil and water' have always intrigued me. Finding ways to update the originals of each effect, bring it up to date and make it the best possible handling for both spectator and magician. Oil and water is no exception. Over the years readying hundreds of books, lectures notes and watching just as many DVD’s and old video’s to find The BEST handling of the classic plot. Settling on Cameron Francis and Derren Brown’s versions as the one I used now.
So how does Ben Harris’ Deluxe Oil and Water compare?
It’s an absolute knock out! Before I continue with this review, I have to say, that this one is without a doubt my favourite “single trick” pdf from Ben so far. It really does everything an Oil and Water routine needs. For me, one of the most important things in an Oil and Water is that it looks simple and easy for the spectator to follow. This it does perfectly! What if I were to say that the spectator will begin by mixing the cards should you so wish... Then, by picking the stack up, displaying (with no funny moves) that they are STILL mixed and then still with no funny moves, show that they were separated, you’d think me mad? Well I’m not! This version of the classic really does live up to all the expectations I had hoped from an Oil and Water routine. What I also love about this routine is that the spectator can begin the trick by mixing them and then at the end, she can turn the mixed pile over to discover it’s unmixed state. There is only really one complex ‘Sleight’ in the routine. That being said, nearly any magician with basic knowledge of card magic can do this easily. Ben has also placed a conditioning open routine. Which is your basic ambitious card BUT, really settles your audience into what’s going to happen. Sometimes the smallest details are the most important.
You do have to drag yourself though the opening pages of tittles and agreements but it is well worth it to get onto the actual trick. The effect is brilliantly well described and is deafly simple to perform. Everything about the routine screams ‘clean’. Most other routines use weird false count or card displacements. Sometime they even use extra cards or complicated set ups. This can be done from a shuffled deck. No set up. Spectator mixes them. No iffy or complicated counts or displacements.
The opening stage of the trick really caught me of guard. Do you remember when you were younger; getting a trick that was self working, like the Dynamic coins. When you slapped that brass cap on the table and that stack of coins appeared, it was not only magical but it was bloody confusing. Although you were following the instructions, you still couldn’t believe it worked. The same with this effect. I was following Ben’s instructions to a point which told me that the cards were separated and not mixed. I turned over the cards and sure enough, they were actually separated. Although, I was completely and utterly confused as to how that had happened.
In my honest opinion, This could be the ultimate in oil and water handlings. No complicated sleights or moves. Nothing looks suspicious. Simple and easy for the spectator to watch. Not long and drawn out. The spectator can begin the trick by mixing them AND can turn over the final pile to show they are separated. Clean, Clean, Clean.
Rating:: ***** 5/5 stars!
“A truly brilliant handling of one of magic’s most classic plots. Simple and easy to perform and possibly one of the cleanest versions you’re every likely to find! From a shuffled deck and a definite must for any card magician.”
Reviewed by Jamie Daws