Magician Cox the envy of One Direction fans
The 33-year-old says some of the boy band's fans asked for his fingerprint after he touched singer Payne's ear lobe
Despite having performed on the West End and at Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London, one of the highlights of English mentalist magician Chris Cox's career is reading One Direction member Liam Payne's mind during the BBC Music Awards last year, which he said was "a lot of fun".
The 33-year-old even got to touch the singer's ear lobe as part of the act, which he said drove many fans of the popular British boy band crazy on Twitter.
He told The New Paper in an e-mail interview: "Someone even asked me to send them my fingerprint. I didn't, in case they used it to break into my iPhone."
Cox, who describes himself as "a mind reader who can't read minds", is one of the six magicians who will be performing at Kallang Theatre from March 10 onwards in Impossible, a magic show from the West End, which is premiering in Asia for the first time.
The ensemble also includes street magician Magical Bones, illusionist Josephine Lee, conjurer Sabine Van Diemen, magic designer Ben Hart and danger-act Aaron Crow. (See sidebar below)
Cox usually performs as a solo act, and has starred in the BBC Three series Killer Magic.
He has also appeared alongside celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal in food show Heston's Recipe for Romance, and is also a creative consultant with Blumenthal's three Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck.
He said it was strange sharing the stage with other magicians at first, but has learnt to embrace it and is worried about going back to solo shows. He added: "We're like one big family, always giving each other notes and advice, and trying to make our acts and the show better.
"The downside is that, like any family, we can all get on each others' nerves and a live magic show is a high-stress environment so that can add to the pressure."
Impossible Live in Singapore 2017
March 10 to 19, 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday, 2pm on Saturday and Sunday
$38 to $168 from Sistic (6348-5555 or www.sistic.com.sg).
Till March 10, enjoy a 28 per cent discount off regular ticket prices when you purchase a minimum of three and up to a maximum of eight Cat 1 or 2 matinee tickets in a single transaction. Terms and conditions apply.
Impossible premiered on the West End in 2015. Since then, they've performed to audiences in the UK and around the world.
Cox, who's married without children, has loved magic since he was a child, but only concentrated on it full time in university.
He said: "I used the final lot of my student loan to take a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to see how it would go, and it went brilliantly. I thought this is something I can keep doing, so I kept doing it."
One of Cox's acts in Impossible took him six years to master. He spent about four years preparing before performing it on stage for the first time.
The act involves a dressing room and a member of the audience.
He said: "The idea was based on the fact that I went to the Apple Store in London one day wearing a T-shirt which was the exact same colour as the staff's and kept being asked how much the new iPod was.
"It got me thinking how great it would be if I gave someone a huge selection of clothes to pick from and they ended up wearing the exact same outfit as me."
He added that a new addition to the act will be unveiled here, which he thinks will "totally fry people's minds".
Cox has been to Singapore only once before, for an eight-hour transit. He said: "But now I'm here for much longer, so I can't wait to try all the food you have to offer and see your futuristic city in full.
"I've also been told the crowds in Singapore are some of the best in the world, so I'm looking forward to making them laugh a lot before their jaws drop and they go, 'How the hell did he do that!'"
Other Impossible acts
MAGICAL BONES, 34
A street magician whose real name is Richard Essien, he has been performing magic around the world for over 10 years. He started out as a hip-hop dancer and has worked with artists like Madonna, Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys.
JOSEPHINE LEE, 29
The illusionist trained as a professional dancer in London and has been performing for the past 10 years to audiences that include Prince Albert of Monaco, Stella McCartney and Germaine Jackson.
SABINE VAN DIEMEN, 31
Now a solo performer and conjurer, Amsterdam-born Van Diemen had collaborated with Hans Klok in 2011 on a series of hit shows. They won several awards, including the Silver Clown at the 38th International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo in 2014.
BEN HART, 25
At 16, he won the Magic Circle's Young Magician of the Year. The London-based magic designer has created special effects and impossible illusions for theatre, film and TV.
AARON CROW, 49
The Belgian mentalist, magician and danger-act is known for his silent stage persona. He was in the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent 2013, and was World Champion in Mentalism at the 2003 Den Haag XXII World Championships of Magic.