by Tony Walker
At 1930hrs on Thursday 14th September 2000 an audience of about 200 at the Brunton Hall, Musselburgh in East Lothian welcomed Geoffrey Durham, magician, and probably more famous now for his appearances in the Channel 4 Countdown programme. Yes it is along time since those Best of Magic ITV days. With a lot slimmer physique and still that charming smiling face, Durham astounded his audience for two hours with his own blend of magic albeit most of them routines I remember from the magic series previously mentioned. However it was a pleasure to watch such a professional performance.
The show opened with Mr Durham asking why Mr Richard Whitely had never been locked up for wearing those ridiculous jackets on Countdown, and then followed the history of Mr Durhams career in magic. The first effect was a newspaper tear which I have always loved and which I perform myself. The sudden and quick restoration startled all of the audience. The second effect was again a paper tear with 3 napkin tissues where he eventually leads the audience up the proverbial garden path. An old classic followed. The rice bowls and the loads of rice touch, with the bowls finally full of water. My kids were amazed.
There then followed a small talk on misdirection followed by flash bulbs in a glass, going off at the will of an audience member, a rope routine, and my favourite numbers on blocks routine(I think this is a Selbit routine, I have always wanted to know how to do, but never got round to it, and it still amazes me every time I see it) where blocks change order each time they are covered up, mimicking a set which is always in full view. The first half closed with the Ken Brooke multiplying bottles which in Geoffrey's hands is a masterpiece. My kids spent all night raving about this to their mum, Gran, the Rabbit and the guinea pig.......... astounding, so quick, superb!!
During the interval, after my kids chibbed me out off a fivers (tight miserable Scot me) worth of ice cream, and the audience were returning for the second half, Geoffrey appeared in the audience doing small close up magic including producing a borrowed ring from his keyring, a playing card puzzle, producing a twelve foot ladder from his suitcase and making a tissue hat for a member of the audience. During the second half the routines were, a dictionary/book test, an audience generated number on a medallion, signed silk in an apple, borrowed fiver ( the most he could get from us tighties) in a playing card come stab routine, Rubic Cube magically solved, linking borrowed finger rings, and finished with a large glass files with water upturned without a drop spilled...... The tricks were all interluded with jokes and general good humour. A nine year old also walked away with some magically produced pokemon cards for assisting.
An excellent performance which was awarded with a standing ovation. Thank goodness the fuel crisis didn't prevent this show going ahead. I would recommend this show to anyone who gets a chance to see it. At £8 adult and £4 kids this was well worth it.........
Tony Walker, Still doing mental policing......
© Tony Walker, September 2000