Bexley Magic Society Annual Stage Competition
Wednesday 16th February 2011
Reported by Roy Marsh

On Wednesday 16th February Bexley Magic Society held its annual stage competition.

This year there were six entrants for the George Trophy. The format requires each competitor to perform a stage act of no less than 5 minutes and no more than 10 minutes duration.

Compère, Ken Francis, introduced the acts and performed between them whilst the stage was being set. The event began with organiser Roberto Forzoni followed by Roy Marsh then Ian Thom, Megan Knowles-Bacon, David Klass and Mark Speller.

Roberto took us back to Victorian times performing a number of mental feats using three members of the audience on stage, all of whom at one stage seemed to choose the same playing card at the same time under very different circumstances.

Also using willing volunteers, Roy Marsh chained two gentleman together via their trouser legs and with the help of a lady chosen a random, he used his the sixth sense, to find the only key amongst five, that would open the padlock to release the two male victims.

Ian Thom is a professional clown, of international standing. Not surprisingly his act featured a number of magical effects all performed to music, including passing a very large needle through a heart shaped balloon without bursting it.

Megan, performed part of her routine that has already won her the trophy before in 2007. It has been honed over the years to the point where she regularly performs for the public at The Magic Circle. It features a floating ball routine and finishes with a snowstorm, all performed silently to music.

David Klass performed a little mind magic. First of all he trusted the member of the audience to tell him which of two upturned paper bags, he should squash with his hand. This he did, revealing that had she chosen the other one, he would have brought he’s hand down on the point of an upturned, vicious looking, commando knife. With the same lady helping, a comic face was decorated using coloured pens of her choice, only for David to reveal a duplicate from a sealed envelope that he had completed earlier in the day.

Finally Mark Speller started his juggling act on stage in a total blackout using illuminated balls. These progressed in number from three to five and more, making strange patterns in the dark. In full lighting he then treated us to some unicycling and more juggling dressed as a rather dubious Scotsman, complete with kilt and tam-o’-shanter.

The independent judges were drawn from a local drama group. They decided that the winner for 2011 should be Megan Knowles-Bacon (seen here being presented with the trophy by club President Roy Marsh). The timekeeper for the competition was Dave Andrews and helping backstage were Steve Bacon on sound and club chairman Kevin Doig as stage manager. Helping to add to the atmosphere was one of the largest audiences to watch the competition in recent times, almost filling the venue. The hospitality in the form of tea, coffee and biscuits was ably provided by Sally Andrews and Barbara Latham. It was agreed that once again the standard was high and everyone present went home saying how much they had enjoyed the evening.

© Roy Marsh, February 2011