Stars of Stage & Variety
Gala Show IBM British Ring Convention, Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth 2014

Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth
Saturday 27th September 2014

Reviewed by Mike Danata

Pianist Grahame Lawrence played piano on stage as the audience arrived. Grahame is a great musician, and was once Mike Yarwood's Musical Director.

The show started on time (which always impresses me!) The comperes (as there were two!) were a father and son Comedy Duo called "Simmons & Simmons" they were excellent. Good clean family entertainment, with as much rapport with the audience as they had with each other! Very much in the Morecambe & Wise mold, they were slick, funny and the perfect hosts for a family show.

The show was advertised as "Stars of Magic & Variety" and the first half consisted of mostly the "Variety" aspect, with a little magic to close.

First on was Hans Davis from Belgium with his brilliant act of Shadowgraphy, he has performed all over the world using just his hands, to create the most amazing images in shadow form on a screen. It appeared that there was nothing he couldn't create using just his hands, it wasn't "Magic" but it was certainly "Magical" it was great to see such a master at work.

In between each act Simmons & Simmons did a short spot, before introducing the next act. which was Jeton & Carmen from Germany. Carmen is the glamorous assistant to Jeton who showcased his incredible juggling skills. Years of practice, practice, and even more practice for sure! Very slick and hugely entertaining.

Closing the first half was Tensai a husband and wife visual illusion act with an Oriental theme, featuring silk and Parasol productions, Linking Rings, Sub Trunk Illusion complete with costume change and a lovely Pole levitation to finish with, it was well presented and choreographed, it was indeed a colourful finish to a fast paced and entertaining first half.

The second half opened up again with Simmons & Simmons who then introduced Kyla Lingley the Soprano Opera Singer who originally comes from Canada, she sang a few songs including "Time To Say Goodbye" and "You Raise me Up" she really has a beautiful voice and even played the lead role in the musical Grease.

Simmons & Simmons then introduced Fielding West, who was the first patter magic act of the evening. I must say he looked a bit different to his photo in the brochure with his long at the front floppy hair, in fact with his brash voice and look, he did at times remind me of Sir Les Paterson, the character created by Barry Humphries (Dame Edna), you almost expected him to spit as he talked!!! If Paterson was to do a Magic Act, it might well be the sort of act that Fielding actually did! It was off the wall, outrageous even, but very clever unique and funny!

The closing act was Daniel Dean & Co a very well paced illusion act with some patter incorporated into it. Daniel performed many quick fire illusions with his three gorgeous assistants, extremely well choreographed and costumed. Amongst the illusions were "Girl From Cage Of Fire" "Things That Go Bump In The Night" it culminated in probably the most dramatic presentation of the Fan Levitation that I have seen, it was stunning, with fantastic music, it was indeed the perfect finish to a well produced, professional, slick show, that didn't go on and on like some gala shows I have seen! I think everyone enjoyed it, I know that I certainly did!

Mike Danata, October 2014