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Fringe Review: Suitcase of Wonders

By Courtney Merchand on June 14, 2019

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Suitcase of Wonder
By Courtney Merchand
60 min / Comedy, Magic, Solo, Theoretical Physics

How familiar are you with the butterfly effect? The idea that one small choice could change the course of your destiny… That maybe, just maybe, choosing a yellow envelope over a red or blue envelope directly impacted my decision to have pizza over tacos for dinner that night?

That’s the question magician Ryan Pilling poses in Suitcase of Wonders—not the part about what I’d eat for dinner, but you get the point. In his one-man performance, Pillings uses the mystery of magic to tackle tough topics like fate and destiny with just a touch of theoretical physics (be prepared to go “huh?”) by simply placing every final decision of the show in the hand of the audience.

Toeing the line of “magician or idiot,” Pilling knows just how to play the audience into thinking his only talent is his endearing goofiness but don’t be fooled! Just when he has you asking yourself “is this guy really a magician?” is when the real magic happens.

Just when he has you asking yourself “is this guy really a magician?” is when the real magic happens.

Suitcase of Wonders is a mixed bag that you really have to experience for yourself. With a choose-your-own adventure theme to the performance, I predict each show will be unique to each audience—regardless of the outcome.

Let me leave you with this final image: a darkened room, a suitcase suspended from the ceiling draped in heavy chains, ominous music playing in the background. If you’re interest is piqued and you find yourself now wondering what’s inside the suitcase, you’ll have to go to Suitcase of Wonders to find out.


Suitcase of Wonders by Ryan Pilling is playing at ODD Box (2 Daly Ave) until Sunday June 23, 2019. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.


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