The Ruse at the Walper Hotel

How Does He Do It?

Reviewing a magic show is outside of my usual fare – I am much more comfortable blogging about musicals or plays.  This promises to be different, I thought.  And it was!

Guests for The Ruse are ushered into a special room at Kitchener’s Walper Hotel where we see a short introductory video about David Storm – he has been creating magic since he was a small boy.  And then he walks in.Storm

His words and actions are slow and deliberate; he’s not trying to hoodwink us with fast movements and flying hands.  And it’s not a magic show with gimmicky props, contraptions, or animals.  He might best be described as a mind reader or perhaps a mentalist.  All of his so-called tricks involve knowing what we, in the audience, are thinking, writing or doing.

It’s a very interactive performance.  Audience members are asked to stand up or go on stage and take part in the show.  Then we are asked to think of names, dates or other things, and write them on pieces of paper and seal them in envelopes.  Then he tells us what we wrote or thought.  It all sounds so simple!

For example, one young woman was chosen to plan a special date with him.  From a handful of cards, she picked Paris, and then decided on flights and what attraction they would visit.  Then Storm reveals a sealed-up paper that he had prepared before the show, with all the exact information on it, just as she had said.

My husband, Victor, was called on stage to create a drawing.  He and Storm stood back to back, sketching quickly on clipboards.  Victor drew a sunset, but before he could finish, Storm had drawn a very similar sunset, without any opportunity to see what Victor was doing.  It was, as they say in the promotional material, mind-blowing.

How does he do it?  He says many people suggest that he is paying off members of the audience – but he involves so many people at random, there is no way he could be doing that.  Does he have an accomplice hidden somewhere behind the black curtain quickly prepping material?  No, no one could get those scenarios written up that fast.  Does he have all possible answers on papers up his sleeve, and then manages to slide the correct one out at a moment’s notice?  Impossible, his jacket would be just too bulky.  Does he simply rely on the odds?  Is there a good chance anyone sketching on stage will draw a sunset?  Nope, Victor could have drawn anything.

The room housing The Ruse at the Walper is relatively small, so everyone gets to watch Storm closely as he performs.  If it is sleight-of-hand, he will be caught.

He’s not without mistakes in his mindreading – one person in the audience was thinking of the name Joshua – Storm was able to come up with Jessie, and the audience was very forgiving since some of the letters were close.  Then you wonder if he is still manipulating you – maybe he throws in a goof to make us believe that what he is doing is really difficult.

This is a class event:  patrons are asked to wear cocktail attire.  Each person is welcomed with a richly printed information package and encased drink menu.

Prior to the show, we enjoyed dinner at TWH Social in the lower level of The Walper Hotel.  The menu offers various gourmet hamburgers and other delicious items.  I enjoyed the gnocchi which was top-notch.  Newly renovated rooms are available at The Walper if you’re making it an overnight get-away in the heart of downtown Kitchener.

The Ruse is a fascinating experience, which I’d highly recommend if you want an evening out with something different.  Is Storm a mind-reader?  If not, how does he do it? But then again, it’s called The Ruse.  Somehow he has fooled an entire room full of people that he is, indeed, reading their minds, and even reading them in advance and predicting what they will say and do.  How else can he do it?  He has duped us all!

The Ruse at the Walper Hotel continues each Saturday evening at 7:00 and 9:45.  To book tickets go online at

For the TWH Social restaurant, see and for newly renovated Walper Hotel go to

Photo: David Storm

The Ruse at the Walper Hotel
Performed by David Storm
Produced by NorthCore Productions: Rachel Crowther and Steve Roth
The Walper Hotel, Kitchener
Saturday evening performances at 7:00 and 9:45
Reviewed by Mary Alderson


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