Chris Wardle's Crafty Conjuring lecture
Harrogate Society of Magicians
17th July 2017
Reviewed by James Ward

On Monday, 17 July, Harrogate Society of Magicians was delighted to welcome Chris Wardle MIMC to deliver his ‘Crafty Conjuring’ lecture. Chris is one of the most inventive minds in magic, having, over the years, created something in the order of 500+ tricks – from dealer items to book and magazine effects. His ideas have been used on TV, stage and radio and he’s a past winner of The Magic Circle’s Cecil Lyle Award.

This was the third time Chris had visited us and, as always, we were treated to an evening packed with workable – and easy-to-perform – material.

What I love most about Chris’s approach is that he doesn’t just bombard you with tricks – as many lecturers do. Though he packs a lot in, he also explains the principle behind an effect and shows how you might use it in your own work. It’s a magical masterclass which, for me, sets him apart. If you have ears to listen, you’ll go home with so much more than a bunch of new tricks. You’ll take away the building blocks for your own material and/or ideas on how to adapt existing effects.

As for the evening itself, what an entertaining smorgasbord on offer: everything from mind reading, cards and stand-up, to children’s magic, compere items and comedy. (When he was a student, Chris wrote gags for a number of TV sketch shows, and, not surprisingly, his lecture is delivered with a light and humorous touch.)

One highlight for me, was ‘This and That’. Two helpers thought of two different cards. Chris fanned the deck to reveal the spectators could have thought of any card, as all of the cards had ‘ANY’ on the backs - apart from the chosen cards – on one of which was printed ‘This Card’ and the other ‘That Card’. A punchy walk-around item and so easy to perform. ‘It’s a Date’ was a clever diary routine in which the helper managed to make a chosen day completely disappear! There was also a fun restaurant item – Chris’s own take on the ‘tearing the top off a sugar packet’ gag – and even some Christmas magic! A delightful routine you can make up for about three pounds and which I’ll certainly be using in my children shows this December.

I could go on for several hundred more words, but I won’t. If you want a lecture that offers great effects and stimulating ideas from one of magic’s most prolific creators, then you should definitely contact Chris Wardle:

© James Ward, Harrogate Society of Magicians, July 2017