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Close-up Session – South Tyneside International Magic Festival

March 15th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

The close-up session started with David Williamson, his lost luggage had still not arrived so he had been to visit the dealers, which resulted in a very funny sequence.

He used a lay-spectator to help and took a deck of cards from his special bag, had them shuffled and then showed the spectator how he had them in the bag, which just happened to be shaped like a church collection bag! Sadly he mis-shuffled the deck so had to do a different trick anyway!

He performed He Who Spelt it Deal It, and then went on to switch a signed card in a dove-pan and threw this off stage to Bob Sheets who loaded it into an apple, all while David misdirected the spectator.

Bob Sheets performed Ton Onosakas Royal Flush Tonte and his 3 Shell Game, which is a tour-de-force of this particular genre, a great routine that builds to a climax of putting the shell containing the pea under a box, and then an empty shell under a glass, and the pea vanishes from under the box and appears under the glass.

Banachek started with a coin and fork bending routine and finished with a centre tear routine. Finallly in our room Patrick Redford perfomed his Glimme routine which is a card routine where the spectator seemingly forgets the card he was shown, and subsequently the whole audience suposedly forget certain actions, the card comes back to the top, the deck is seperated into reds and blacks and then mysteriously re-shuffled, all under the presentation of the audience forgetting or not catching Patrick performing these actions. Lastly Patrick performed a very clever 3-phase poker routine where he won all three phases despite giving the spectator all the chances and choices to try and beat him.

Friday Midnight Show – South Tyneside International Magic Festival

March 14th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

Jasper Blakeley is a trained actor who presents many characters that drive his magic. For the late show we were treated to Fabio Bendy balloon modeller to the stars, an italian balloon modeller who makes all kinds of rude models.

Suffice to say it ended with a sword box using balloons shaped as male genitalia! Next was his Uncle Al the Kiddies Pal a northern childrens entertainer who swears every other word and performs very rude tricks, he finished this spot by performing his version of the spiked routine.

Finally to finish we were treated to the Kockov experience, this is Jaspers foreign mind reading character. All in all a great late night addition from a very talented performer.

Friday Gala Show – South Tyneside International Magic Festival

March 14th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

John Archer compered the show using hardly any magic, only a well executed presentation of six-card-repeat, instead he talked and joked and gently ribbed the audience which kept the show moving along and was a great interlude between the acts. Paul Dabek opened both halves, his first spot was sensational, a very polished and slick manipulation act featuring colour changing canes, silk fountain, dove productions, ball manipulation, card shooting and bouncing a-la Jeff McBride, and finally a dove cage vanish with a rip apart cloth that was a nice touch.

Patrick Redford was on next, he started with some warm up audience participation where he showed us how easily we can be influenced. Next four coloured envelopes with roman numerals on where distributed to four spectators who randomly shuffled themselves on stage. The outcome was predicted by Patrick including a mine/your envelope kicker ending. He then played a game of psychic charades and finished by predicting the contents of a box, the attributes of which were decided on by the audience, and it turned out to be a correct prediction of a small teddy bear wearing the exact things named.

Paul Romhany followed with a slick act, first he performed a very good rope routine with a multiple ends phase. A linking coat hangers routine made a nice change from the usual rings that normally overload a convention, and he finished with an in-exhaustible glass trick, where the spectator drank a drink and it seemingly then came back out of their mouth or ear, or other body parts!

The second half Paul Dabek opened with Shadowgraphy set to Circle of Life he made all sorts of shadows in a well choreographed routine. Bob Sheets followed with a 3 coin trick where he produced and vanished the coins. His rope through body was enhanced by two great child volunteers and he closed with his card stab routine.

Finally to close the show the master himself Paul Daniels. I dont like to write act as known, but Paul didnt dissapoint, his classic chop cup routine was followed by card to wallet, a very nice perspex guillotine, electric chairs and finally the Lemon, Egg and Walnut trick. Paul is just the epitomy of the working professional, so at ease on stage chatting to the audience, his experience shines through in spades, and is a lesson in itself of showmanship and presentation, a great way to finish a superb first night gala.

Banachek Lecture – South Tyneside International Magic Festival

March 14th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

Banachek started his lecture with a 30 minute show, including an ESP prediction where he influenced the spectator to pick a particular symbol.

He then passed some slips of paper around the audience asking them to write their name and some information like a number or date. Whilst this was being done he performed an Add a Number dream presentation, and then a drawing duplication using one of the slips.

A version of PK touches using a couple was very effective, followed by a spike bend, and finally a very effective divination of the information on the audience marked billets. Banachek then went on to explain this act in detail. Next he demonstrated some easy but effective ideas using business cards, including several ways to peek and reveal written information and M.I.N.D which is a quick demonstration of psychic influence.

A multiple card selection procedure was used to read the minds of several spectators, by finding their thought of cards in the pack. Finally Banachek finished a fantastic lecture with a word predicton using his ring to highlight a word in a book he predicted that word, and went on to show us the simple modus operandi involved.

Steve Axtell Lecture – South Tyneside International Magic Festival

March 14th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

Steve Axtell of Axtell Puppets was interviewed in a very interesting hour long session by convention organiser Martin Duffy.

Steve started off by talking about the background of his company and how he got started as a boy with his interest being sparked by Sesame Street. He went on to talk about how to use a puppet giving several demonstrations with his own products, tips such as to always keep the puppet moving, and to point the eyes down to the audience were valuable advice from an obvious master.

As soon as Steve put a puppet on he was animating it complete with unique voice via his ventriloquial skills. He then went on to demonstrate his now world famous and best selling product, the Axtell Drawing Board, providing some interesting tips and techniques sent in by other users and he talked about the use of his Axtrax system to back this and the puppets. Next he demonstrated his Cry Baby and the very funny Human version, this was followed with some tips on his bird arm illusion.
Finally he talked about creativity and how he comes up with some of the ideas, and what he has in the pipeline, and to that end he finished by demonstrating his anamatronic line, all remote control characters that can be freely controlled or left to move on their own, which look amazing, including a dragon that breathes smoke, a giant book and a cute baby gorilla and one final character a life size puppet that looked very much like Paul Daniels!

South Tyneside International Magic Festival Live Blog

March 13th, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide


Richard Morrell will be covering the South Tyneside Convention this weekend in our live blog. To catch up on everything as it happens, just click on the left hand side ‘South Tyneside International Magic Festival’ or click here