• No events.

International Gala Show

September 28th, 2008 by Richard Morrell

This turned out to be one of the best gala shows I had seen in a long time, and that seemed to match the reaction of the people I chatted with afterwards.

Jeff Hobson was a fantastic compere who kept things moving, and his own spots as you would expect were hilarious, he came on and whipped the audience up with some fire-eating, and other spots included a Linking Rings routine to lots of short music clips, and card to mouth, which included a hilarious dance interlude to Abba’s Dancing Queen.

The first act was Jason Byrne a dove act that included, cage productions, and as well as doves, he produces a small budgerigar, and to finsh a huge duck.

Raymond Crowe, is an Australian who bills himself as an Unusualist, he started with a stretching arm illusion, stretching his arm to reach a high microphone stand. He then brings up a spectator and performs the same on them, using a long silver tube contraption. Then he borrows the spectators coat, and brings this to life ala Zombie Ball, and dances with the coat after producing a feather boa from inside it. This looked fantastic. Raymond then finished with the act he had on the Royal Variety Show, the Wonderful World Shadowgraphy.

Michael Finney tore the place apart with his comedy and magic, he started with his Six-card Repeat with glitter ending, his rope routine which features some great lines, and finished with his trademark Card on Forehead, with a brilliant layman volunteer, who hadn’t a clue!

Norm Nielsen is always a great act, he started with coin manipulation using a coin ladder to heighten the impact of multiple coin productions. His floating violin ala Zombie is always great to watch, and the final vanish with the reappearence of the violin wheeling on its own to the front of the stage brought gasps from the lay audience.

Tony Chapek performed his TV act, where he interacts with his double, Tony, who is on the TV in his night-wear. He reaches into the TV to bring things out and place things into the picture, they perform a card-trick together with a member of the audience, revealing the selection by pulling it out of the video. A rewind sequence is incorporated into a silk vanish. And finally he changes places with his nemesis, coming back on stage dressed in nightwear, and a final quick change sequence to change back to the real Tony.

Claudius Specht a juggler from Germany, as the speciality act, got a great reaction, a neat idea was he had a box-table that moved on its own and also sprung his clubs and cups into the air.

Kalin and Jinger are an illusion act from Reno, Nevada where since 2004 they have had their own theatre called Underground Magic. They have built up an extrodinary repertoire of theatrical magic, they have presented shows like Carnival of Wonders (with Jeff Hobson) and Illusionarium where they performed the worlds largest stage illusion, the vanish of an American Airlines Jumbo Jet, nightly for over two years. They collaborate with the leading designers, directors and choreographers in the business, such as Jim Steinmeyer and Joanie Spina.

This is no standard Magician/Assistant relationship, there is a unique chemistry between them, they are partners in real life and on-stage. They opened with a carnivalesque transformation of a fairground talker in the squisher illusion ended with the suprise production of Jinger. Followed by their tremendous presentation of the Alan Wakeling chopping in half illusion.

A presentation of the Driebeck die, was followed with Jim Steinmeyers excellent Op-Art illusion which looks like a life size puzzle were Jinger gets folded into a smaller and smaller box.

Mark’s Billiard Ball routine is a fantastic piece of sleight-of-hand, and they finished with a spiker illusion where Jinger gets put into a box and large spikes which are set on fire, were put through the box, and Jinger was shown to have vanished and she appeared at the back of the audience, to sustained applause.

Jeff Hobson brought the whole cast back on to a standing ovation.