Aonghus McAnally compered the show with a mixture of wit and song. His main strength was the way he built each act up before they came on, the fact he could pronounce their names, and he had remembered all the salient facts and achievements, was greatly appreciated and not something you see very often on magic show galas!
First on the bill was Dania Kaseeva, one half of David and Dania, performing her hula-hoop act, spinnging and gyrating with multiple hoops, with the ability to control each hoop individually as they swirled around her body. For the final she took a large number of different coloured hoops, and kept them all twirling to great applause.
Timo Marc is a unique act, he has a blank monitor on stage and seemingly paints things onto the screen, that then animate and move around, and sometimes pop through the screen, such as the appearence of a snowstorm of butterflies, or a small mannequin doll. For a finale Timo goes behind a large screen, you can see his shadow which stretches and grows, and at one point he removes his head and it floats around above the screen, the screen drops and you can see it is just him inside, very cool!
To close the first half illusionist Martyn James. Martyn has a great flair for comedy and timing, and combines this with strong, unique illusions, a Fire Cage production, led into a Squasher illusion. Next his assistant is placed into a Barrel and locked in with swords, another one is placed at the other side and locked in place, and the assistant penetrates the swords to end in the other Barrel. There is an hilarous interlude which ends in a costume change. The Wall of Death allows Martyn the chance to talk to the audience, and this really brings out the comedy element, in this assistants revenge type illusion, Martyn is strapped to the wall, and then a curtain drawn across and he swaps places with his assistant. Next a Barbed Wire illusion where a stand with rings of wire is built, and the assistant stands on the outside, and then after a cloth is placed around for a few seconds she is shown inside the rings, and then this is reversed. Finally Martyn vanished his assistant in a crystal box to close a great end to the first half.
The second half opened with Necheporenko, a Russian act where a man comes on with a cape that is standing on its own, and produces Russian Dolls from behind the cape. Im not sure I really get this act, as at one point he produces a girls head, and to me this exposes the method, so is the premise supposed to be how those Dolls appear and dissapear by magic, or is it how he can cleverly hide the girl using the cape? Who we can now assume is the one making the Dolls appear. Maybe this was spoilt for me by first seeing this act at Blackpool up in the Gods where all I could see was the woman behind the cape, placing the dolls onto the stage, and didnt really see any magic effect at all.
Sean Taylor was on next. Sean has now turned his hand to Mentalism, he opened with a Magic Square, which I think lost a little of its impact as he didnt even bother to properly add up any of the rows. Persuasive Banknight is Seans version of Just Chance or Banknight, and uses some great ideas to try and persuade the spectators to choose certain envelopes. Lastly he performed The Throne Room his version of a Chair Prediction.
Hayashi demonstrated his mastery of the Samurai Sword by cutting through Melons and Cucumbers. He then enlisted the help of comedy-duo High Jinx Michael and Siobahn Jordan. Siobahn was given several cucumbers to hold, and Hayashi even strapped one to her head. He was then blindfolded but still managed to sense where to cut, to safely slice the cucumbers.
To close the show the sensational act of David and Dania, amongst the costume changes was some small incidental magic, silk and botania productions, bottle vanishes etc. The costume changes were as expected, unbelivable, in speed and execution, you literally blink and Dania has changed her complete outfit, and at one point even her hair colour. The finale sees David change his suit, and finally Dania just under cover of a shower of glitter changes into a colourful evening dress. A great climax to a varied and impressive International Gala Show.