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Northern Magic Circle 2010 – Gala Show

March 29th, 2010 by Richard Morrell

If it was possible, the best was yet to come, after a great weekend of magic and friendship the Northern Magic Circle convention team had put together a cracking Gala Show. It had it all, a Juggler, a Ventriloquist, Comedy, Manipulation and Illusions, each act was fantastic and it made for a wonderful show.

John Hotowka compered, with gentle humour and magic when needed, John looked every bit at ease, warmed up the audience, built up the acts and filled in the gaps with jokes, and tricks including a Leopard Silk, Vanishing Coke Bottle and a clean handling of Torn and Restored Newspaper.

Chesters Dance Academy opened each half, the first half with a dance to a Beatles Medley and the second half with a Touch of Gypsy.

Stephen Williams billed as Liverpools brightest magic star, was certainly that. A suave manipulation sequence included Candle Productions and Vanishes, Colour Changing Cane and Dove Productions. Losanders Floating Table was handled very well, including a sequence with an audience volunteer that looked very magical. Finally Stephen closed his spot with Kevin James’s Snowstorm.

Thom Peterson is the Amazing Guy, I’m not sure about his claims of X-Ray Vision and Super Speed, but he certainly has the power to make the whole audience laugh continually, and perfom some strong magic at the same time, good abilities to have! Thom’s set included a production of a Glass of Milk and a Beer bottle, a Spoon Bend, followed by bending a picture of a spoon, and his take on Don Alan’s Card Stab.

Nathan Kranzo hails from Michigan and is a super talented close-up performer and it became apparent a very funny stage guy too, damn him! He opened with a great Paper Heart restoration, transforming it to a Heart Balloon, incorporating a very funny squeaker gag. His Mindreading Crotch trick was an hilarious Named Card to Fly, and finally Nathan closed his set with a Borrowed Ring to Lemon.

And if our sides weren’t hurting enough to finish the first half was the insane comedy of Steve Royle. Steve opened with a quick three club juggle, and then launched into some hilarious observational humour. He finished his set with juggling Ping Pong Balls in his mouth, and balancing Guitars on his Chin, finally he juggled three full sized guitars to well deserved applause.

After the Interval a change of pace with the mind games of Marc Paul. He started with a Psychological Audience Test and finally a strong piece of mind reading, asking someone to think of a pet’s name and someone the name of a person, Marc divined these with perfect accuracy, a strong opening to the second half.

Steve Hewlett is a young, funny, talented Ventriloquist, with just the right mixture of comedy and ventriloquism, and a set of great characters and puppets that allowed him to showcase these talents. His main puppet was an old man called Arthur who interacted with Carol Pye to very funny effect. Even after Steve got rid of the puppets the off-stage banter between them continued! A small Elmo puppet and Steve’s routine, had the audience, like the puppet, in the palm of his hand. Several quick vent gags including Lamb Shank, Sheryl and Russel Crow
, and even a Bottle of Water and his Jacket were all game for diverse voices that kept up the humour and left us wanting more!

Finally to close the show Guy Barrett and Company. He started with the appearance of a girl in a box, who changed costume. Then a sword box penetration with the production of two girls. I was asked to help in the Wakeling Sawing a Woman in Half, to hold the leash that goes round the girls ankles, and even up close I still had no idea, a great illusion! Guy’s version of the Don Wayne Dancing Hank is very good, combining multiple elements to produce an effect where you really believe the hanky has come alive. An Assistants Revenge illusion saw Guy put into a box by his dancers, and his middle twisted around. A dance piece segued into a performance of Pavel’s Walking Knot, and finally Guy finished with an incredible variation on Things That Go Bump in the Night. Ghostly forms appeared from an empty box, under coloured cloths, and were finally revealed to be Guy’s dancers, he was placed into the box, and vanished, leaving a large inflatable ghost in his place, Guy reappeared from the back of the room.

An astonishing variety show combining lots of elements to produce a truly magical gala, live entertainment at it’s best!