Steve Gore Lecture
Modern Mystic League (Blackburn)
4th July 2010
Reviewed by Brian Lead

It looked as though our lecturer Steve Gore, immediate Past President of the Northern Magic Circle, had the dice stacked against him at our July meeting. It was American Independence Day, the weather looked as though it was going to be warm and sunny and it was the men’s final at Wimbledon. Fortunately we don’t have any American members and Steve quipped that, although the weather trick had been relatively simple (it stated raining just as he arrived) it had cost him a lot to bribe Andy Murray to lose the semi-final!

Anyway, a goodly crowd was assembled for what turned out to be an afternoon full of original ideas, lateral magical thinking and, on occasions, the clever blending of known effects to create a whole new impact. The first, for example, combined a Lance Burton four-ace card effect with a David Penn double bottle production, but with the innovation of using a bra worn backwards as part of the holder. Perfectly ingenious – but I guess you had to be there! ‘On the Case’ involved a pair of mind-reading glasses in a special spectacle case. Steve co-owns an opticians by trade and had specially adapted these novelty cases, which were available for purchase. ‘Perfect Partners’ matched up pairs of cards in a startling fashion with true love along the way, while ‘T.r.a.n.s.p.o.r.t.’ had moving knots untied on differently coloured ropes. A close up version, ‘Timeline’ employed the Professor’s Nightmare principle in a routine bringing together the past, the present and the future, while all of the Harry Potter characters made an appearance in an elimination contest with a lot of audience participation. Three paintings could be coloured at once with a thoughtful amendment to the standard apparatus, a ghost tube produced a vivid array of silks (one colour-changing) and a zig-zag can elicited a very positive reaction.

In part two, Steve introduced some ingenious technical wizardry using his phone (or a spectator’s) caused a chosen card to appear in a snow-storm globe, pulled a destroyed card out of a borrowed phone screen and produced an 8-ball out of an impossibly slim miniature brief-case. There were lots of other bits and pieces along the way, all making for a fun-packed session delivered with charm and warmth. All the props were immaculate, and Steve had obviously put in a great deal of thought to iron out potential problems. We were surprised to learn that this was Steve’s first venture into lecturing, and we would certainly recommend him unreservedly to any Society looking for an entertaining and totally original session.

© Brian Lead, July 2010