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Greg Wilson Lecture – Blackpool 2007

Greg Wilson has it all. He’s funny, handsome, slimish, talented and has the strongest right thumb in magic. Now, I don’t know how much work he puts in on a daily basis to achieve such power in one digit, nor do I know the techniques behind such muscular vigour, but anyone who can flick a card 20 feet in the air, volley it on it’s return and then almost catch it deserves the respect of every magician in the world. His lecture wasn’t bad either.

You could tell he works regularly and loves being in front of a big audience. He immediately put everyone at ease and made impromptu jokes about funny noises in the background of his lecture; a professional skill that he pulled off immaculately. His material is good too, and I would have loved it had I not owned and watched a lot of his routines on his ‘On the Spot’ DVDs. Now don’t get me wrong, I would have enjoyed seeing Mr Wilson perform even if I knew everything he did inside out, he is thoroughly entertaining, but I’d seen a lot of it before.

The newer material he did show us was very inspired. It’s just that I got a much better view of his routines whilst standing at his stall in the Dealer hall.

Greg started off with a new addition to his famous impromptu pen routine using a gimmick that most of us already own. It was very impressive and well presented but conflicted with the original idea of the routine being completely impromptu. I’d personally never perform ‘Recap’ in any situation, other than spur-of-the-moment. The pen gimmick part of the routine, imaginatively titled ‘precapped’, is just something that is cool to watch but not really useful to performers out and about. This lecture in general moved away from the impromptu into the prepared, which is a bit of a shift, seeing as Mr Wilson has made his name in the magic world performing truly amazing impromptu effects.

One of Greg’s most famous off-the-cuff, utility moves, the ‘Pitch ‘n’ Ditch’ was explained in full to an excited and avid audience. Greg also talked us through some of his real world coin magic, in which he admirably uses all the original moves explained earlier.

It was great to see him bewilder magicians and laymen alike with his misdirection and tomfoolery. But once again, if you owned any of his DVDs already much of this you would have already seen. Towards the end, Greg showed us a neat little card trick, an almost diminishing four of clubs routine, where the pips ended up crowded in a corner of the card. This trick was visually nice to watch and would go down well with a layman audience but relied heavily on gimmicked cards, the bane of all close up performers.

Before this, Greg showed us a clever Copper/Silver routine using keys rather than coins. A nice touch to the original routine and one which I’m sure will be popular to many magicians out there.

On the whole, Greg Wilson came across, really well, a very likeable performer with some great ideas. I perform a number of Greg’s effects from his ‘On the Spot’ DVDs and would recommend them to any magician out there. This lecture moved away from his established impromptu ideas and focused a lot on gimmicks; a prospect that many Greg fans will be disappointed with, but great routines none-the-less.


About the author Kevin McMahon is a professional magician based in Scotland. He started performing magic in 2005 when he appeared on reality TV show ‘Faking It’. Scientist-turned-magician, Kevin, performs at weddings, corporate events and private parties up and down the UK. He presented his new stage show ‘Tricks I Have Learned Since Being On Telly’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2006.