Neptune Magic Society – First Annual Dinner
The Knights Hall, Manor House Hotel
21st October 2016
Reported by Michael Shepherd


October 21st was the date for the first annual Neptune Magic Society dinner – the setting was the beautiful Manor House Hotel in West Auckland County Durham. The hotel was very Harry Potter-esque with its surroundings providing the perfect atmosphere for the dinner.

Upon entering The Knights Hall of this splendid 15th century country house, members and guests were transported into a truly magical and mystical place – a place that had been beautifully decorated by Su Jayne Devine with symbols of the Neptune Magic Society. As we passed through the porticos of the hall the Neptune Dancers ensured all guests were warmly welcomed – a fitting start for what was to be an amazing evening.

After taking a seat at the Houdini table, welcoming speeches were followed by a delicious three course dinner – throughout the meal close-up magic was provided by very talented junior members of the Neptune Society.

The evening continued and the cabaret began with a spectacular dance from the Neptune Dancers, followed by Cameron Glenwright, who earlier in the year had won the Neptune Junior Stage Competition. Cameron is a very talented young performer who skilfully worked his way through a manipulation routine with CDs, canes and fans, and closed with a very entertaining card routine with a surprise finish, where the chosen card appeared printed on his T-shirt.

Next to perform were two of the organisers of the evening - Danny Hunt and Stephanie Clarke. Danny and Stephanie presented part of their stunt show 'Incredible' – this was recently featured on TV. After safety advice for diners, we witnessed Stephanie ascend a ladder of six razor sharp swords - slicing apples under her feet, before descending whilst blindfolded. The audience were literally on the edge of their seats throughout this performance.

At this point Danny read out a letter from the Society's Honorary Life Member and Patron, Mr Ken Dodd OBE. Ken stressed the importance of encouraging youngsters in performing magic, and wished the Neptune Society every success for the future, and lots of happiness and love.

The final cabaret act was Michael Jordan’s High Jinx. As Danny made the introduction he pointed out that he had known Michael from a very early age and that the audience where in for a real treat - and true to form High Jinx did not disappoint. Michael presented the most energetic version of plate spinning, before moving onto a section of smaller effects from his show at Viva in Blackpool. Michael’s very fast paced and baffling umbrella sword box illusion followed. After much fun and excitement with a one of the tallest unicycles in existence, and two members of the audience. Michael closed the show in spectacular fashion with his updated version of the Homicide Illusion. This was truly baffling and amazing to watch. If you do get the chance I strongly recommend you go and see his amazing show.

After a wonderful show and a few words form the organisers Danny Hunt, Su Jayne Devine and Stephanie Clarke, Michael Jordan was made an Honorary Life Member of the Neptune Magic Society – a ‘thank you’ for his continued support, encouragement and services to the Society.

The evening came to a close when the entire audience rose to its feet, applauding wildly, and remembering their very own Cynthia Neptune.

© Michael Shepherd, October 2016