Huddersfield Celebrates 60 Years of Magic
27th June 2009
Reported by Derek Proud

The people of Huddersfield were treated to a full day of magical entertainment at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on 27 June, to mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Huddersfield Circle of Magicians.

The day started in glorious weather with a full afternoon of non-stop free entertainment in the theatre courtyard. Michael & Siobhan Jordan of High Jinx started the show with an impressive display of magic and circus skills, including juggling, (with balls, clubs and knifes), escapology, and unicycling. This was followed by Yan & Ann keeping the throng of children and adults entertained with their Punch and Judy show. Children's Entertainer Ratty Roberts provided even more fun on the stage with some excellent magic and balloon modelling. With no chance to recover, the crowd were then thrilled by the amazing Kimmo, who had children and adults alike laughing constantly with his fantastic ventriloquism. Finally the popular escapology act Amethyst demonstrated several escapes and items of equipment which they have used around the country. Throughout the afternoon there was also face painting by Meayla, balloons by Lee Carnley and Blake Woodward, and plate spinning to help keep the children busy.

Finally the moment everyone had been waiting for had arrived. After months of planning and organising, the evening show was a sell-out success. We were very lucky and honoured to have a list of performers to be envied. The show began with the unique humour of local entertainer and compere Al Conway, who introduced the acts with some excellent comedy and magic effects. First on were the superb dance group “Rouge”, who are fast making a name for themselves on the cabaret circuit. Next on was world class performer Brian Sefton, known by many for his mixture of sophisticated magic and manipulation. He stunned his audience particularly with his amazing dove act.

Next was the Kirkheaton School Choir, who performed an excellent medley of magical songs to get everyone in the mood and they were loved by the whole audience. We were then treated to non-stop laughter with the wonderful ventriloquism of Dave Andrews and his truly ‘special’ friends. All-round entertainer John Danbury then showed his talents as a magician, mind reader and singer, encouraging a good deal of audience participation. The first half was brought to a close with award-winning High Jinx with a number of amazing illusions and their popular straitjacket escape.

The second half of the show saw Rouge and Al Conway on for another stint, before star attraction John Archer had the audience rolling with laughter with his great stand up comedy magic act. The show was brought to a close by the superb and fast paced illusions of escapology and illusionist duo Amethyst. The show was also enjoyed by several former members who had been driving forces of magic in Huddersfield over the last six decades, including one of the founder members from 1949. Everybody agreed it had been a fantastic day and well worth the wait and hard work.

© Derek Proud, July 2009