Scouse psychic Joe Power has been helping police with murder enquiries for over a decade and recently begun to tour with his own stage show in the UK and America. Tonight, he took to the London stage for the first time with a schlock-horror voiceover intro promising that Joe would reveal our "innermost secrets".
A sprint down Joe's memory lane opens the show, talking about stealing from his parents and his brother's apparent murder, before announcing his first contact from the spirit world. There are no histrionics or physical fakery: Joe is never knowingly possessed and looks directly into the audience at all times and not to any spirit world presence he may be referring to (take note, Derek Acorah).
“I’m hearing Smith”, he says. “It could be someone’s mum. Can anyone relate to this?” There is no shortage of raised hands or cynical smirks in the audience. Once an audience member is selected, Joe persists with more searching questions: “I can also see a gentleman with her. Is that your Dad?” An affirmative nod and Joe re-assures the audience member that her parents are looking over her from "the other side". The pattern is set for successive guests from the spirit world: Joe asks a fairly generic question relating to a name (“Taylor”, “Lee”, “Craig or Mark”) who may be the deceased or the name of a person in the audience familiar with the deceased. Follow-up questions are usually broad (did the deceased have something to do with the arts?), vague (did the deceased know a Paul or Paula or Pauline?) or medical (questions regarding hospital visits, cancer, amputations and problems with the bowel, chest and spine were all given a go) in order to see if the audience member (or their friend) are the ones being sought by Joe’s latest spirit visitor before a message from the spirit world is passed on.
Saying Joe’s questions are hit and miss would suggest that the ratio of success to failures was about 50/50 when it would be fairer to say that Joe’s accuracy is more akin to Michael Fish than William Tell. Pushed to a late slot against his will at the eleventh hour and having cut his show from over 2 hours to 75 minutes straight we had sympathy for him. As an entertainer, Joe Power was a moderate success; as a medium, he promised big but failed to win over the sceptical and open-minded alike on the night.
By Franco Milazzo
Joe Power is on tour around the UK before taking his show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.