Night of Wonder - Michael Leach lecture
Mid Essex Magical Society
10th February, 2015
Reviewed by James Cooper

This evening, held at the Mid Essex Magical Society, was the first outing of Michael Leach’s lecture about the legendary Tommy Wonder. For Michael the fascination with Tommy’s work started as a member of MEMS over 10 years ago when he borrowed The Books of Wonder and was captivated by the theories, psychology and routines contained within their pages. About 2 years ago Michael set about putting a lecture together, with permission from Tommy Wonder's family, so he could share his work and link theory to performance.

Michael started his talk in a similar way to Tommy, talking about the books that influenced him including Magic by Misdirection by Dariel Fitzkee, Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms, Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz, The Magic Way by Juan Tamariz and Absolute Magic by Derren Brown.

Michael themed the lecture around different subjects, starting with Emotion and stressed that if you believe in the magic yourself and show this in your manner then it makes the experience for the audience even stronger. He then continued to perform Tommy Wonder's Ambitious Card, followed by his infamous Card in Ring Box, discussing in detail the handling and method of the card fold into eighths.

He then went on to talk about attention control (misdirection), discussing different methods discussed in The Books of Wonder. Michael then presented Tommy’s Magic Ranch and his 2 cup and ball routine, as a demonstration of these principles. The cup and ball routine, which in my opinion is one of the best routines in existence, was handled so well by Michael that it felt like Tommy was actually performing it. Michael concluded by discussing conflict and drama and used Tommy’s Tamed Card and Coins across as examples of this.

All in all this was a great lecture, not just about tricks but about performance, which is not usually seen in magic lectures.

If you are looking for a great lecture on theories, psychology and brilliant effects which are both thought provoking and commercial then look no further than Michael Leach.

© James Cooper, March 2015