Review: Bowled Over by Christopher Talbat

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]Next to the magical appearance of a living being such as a person, an animal, a bird or fish, a bowling ball is one of the most impossible inanimate object to make a magical appearance in a parlour or small stage setting.

Chris Talbot’s “Bowled Over” is the magical production of a bowling ball from an empty paper bag.

In effect, the performer casually carries a large paper bag and walks onto the stage or performing area.  He carries the paper bag with one hand by holding onto its string handles.  The paper bag is turned upside down and only a piece of silk comes fluttering down from the inside of the bag, indicating that the bag is otherwise empty.  Suddenly, a large bowling ball falls out of the paper bag and lands onto the floor with a loud thud.  The appearance of an actual bowling ball jolts the audience!


Everybody knows that, because of its weight, a bowling ball is not something a person carries around without a proper bowling carriage or bag.  So, when the performer brings in a paper bag, nobody suspects that it contains a bowling ball inside.  When the ball lands on the floor with a loud noise, it shocks the audience!

There are other bowling ball production effects.  Kevin James’ “Bowl-O-Rama” is bowling ball from a sketch pad and is the most popular and expensive one.  Before that there was “Executive Production”, the bowling ball from a brief case.  Andrew Mayne has a DVD entitled “Freefall” and among the several effects there is a bowling ball from paper bag.

Chris Talbot’s “Bowled Over” is a practical and professional adaptation of Andrew Mayne’s bowling ball from paper bag.  You receive a specially manufactured bowling ball hardness and a length of special tough but somewhat stretchable string to be used as the carrying handles of the paper bag.  You need to supply your own bowling ball and paper bag.  You are directed to a video online that teaches you how to purchase the correct type and size of paper bag, and the bowling ball.  It also shows you how to fix the harness and carrying string onto the paper bag.

The frequently asked questions are:

  • Should you have the paper bag in the performing area right from the start of your program?
  • Should you do something so that the ball, when it falls out, will not damage the floor of the performing venue?
  • What do you do after you produce the bowling ball?

All these are addressed in the video although they are not discussed at great length.

If you are looking for an amazing effect on the audience, the production of an impossible object such as Chris Talbot’s bowling ball from paper bag may suit your performance and budget. 

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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