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Retraux by Jon Billett

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Jon Billett
Available from: www.kaymarmagic.com 
Price: £24.99

Retraux by Jon Billett is a three phase mentalism routine using a set of polaroid style cards featuring TV shows from the 80s and 90s.

Phase one: You introduce a bag as a ‘timecapsule’ and place it to one side for later. The cards are introduced and a spectator is asked to take the cards and look through them one by one until they settle on a TV show they either know or would like to watch. They hide the picture out of sight from you. Without any fishing you are able to reveal which show they have chosen.

Phase two: Another spectator is asked to cut the cards and remove a couple of photos from where the cards were cut. Immediately you are able to reveal both TV shows chosen at random.

Phase three: The cards are shuffled and handed to a spectator who deals them into a pile on the table stopping at any point. The cards dealt are redealt into three piles representing the three TV channels which were available back in the 80s. The top card of each pile is turned over showing which three shows would be on each TV channel. They turn out to be your favourite shows. However, nobody believes you until you empty the contents of the bag which was introduced right at the start. It contains three pieces of TV show merchandise which match the three shows dealt to at random.

You are supplied with a set of full colour printed cards which have been made to look like polaroid photographs, a drawstring bag and three pieces of merchandise which are used for the final reveal.

The cards are printed on 400gsm card so are a really good thickness. They are a little difficult to handle and shuffle at first due to the paper stock. Each card features a different TV show, however, there are no name references printed on the cards so anyone younger than a certain age may not know what some of these shows are. This also applies to anyone overseas who may wish to perform it. I would have liked to see the names of each TV show printed on each card at the bottom so even if a spectator hadn’t seen or didn’t know any of the shows, they could still participate successfully.

There is a bit of memorisation required before you can start performing Retraux but it’s not too difficult to learn once you are familiar with the TV shows. The main method is similar to Director’s Cut by Simon Shaw so if you are familiar with this then you will know what I mean.

What I like about Retraux is that the effect can be whatever length suits your performance requirements. So if you only have a quick minute to perform then you could simply just perform phase one and not mention the ‘timecapsule’ bag. Or if you wish to perform the whole three phases then you have a solid 7-8 minute routine at your disposal.

The more I play around with Retraux the more I like it. My teenage years were in the 80s so the images on the cards bring back many memories from my youth. Whether you are old enough to remember these shows or not I would recommend picking up a copy of this and giving it a go.