Bradford Magic Circle 'Hey Presto' Family Magic Show
Reviewed by Eric Stringwell, BMC President

The Bradford Magic Circle have been holding an annual magic show since 1973. In recent years this has been held at the 360 seater Bingley Arts Centre. For the first time since they moved there, this year's show, on the 10th March, was a sell-out.

Tony Rix compered the show, and began by introducing the Spotlight Dancers. This group of youngsters are taught by Gillian Thornton, the daughter of the Bradford Magic Circle's Entertainments Officer, Ivan Robinson. Gillian is a former professional dancer, and her experience certainly shows through with the youngsters she is teaching. The older group started the show, whilst her younger group, which includes her youngest sister, Amy, opened the second half. Both spots were excellent, combining youthful enthusiasm and energy to modern music in a very enjoyable way.

Hayley-Anna opened the magic part of the evening, with her eastern promise routine. Here is a youngster who has poise and skill. She produced silks and canes, showing off her dancing experience in a colourful and magical opening spot, closing with her very effective sword through ball.

Paul Sunderland was the childrens magician for the evening. He got two helpers from the audience, and in little Nicholas had a winner. He was one of those children who childrens magicians everywhere wish they could take around with them and use at every show. Paul had introduced a magic wand which had only one white tip, at least every time he looked away from it had. Eventually the tip was vanished in a changing bag, which Paul tore in half as he gave it to Nicholas to hold. As Paul blamed Nicholas, the youngster retorted that "it was Velcro!" This became the catchphrase for the rest of the evening! A superb act, enjoyed by everyone, not just the children.

Tony Rix closed the first half with an hilarious act which included getting a lady to select a card. She held the pack in her hand whilst Tony blindfolded himself and proceeded to attempt to stab the chosen card! When he asked her to throw the cards into the air... but not yet, the house was in uproar. Combined with the hilarity, Tony managed to baffle the audience when he had a time chosen by two members of the audience and proceeded to show that the clock, which had been in full view throughout, was showing that time. An excellent act to close the first half.

After the interval and the dancers, Patrick Maddison showed his skill with a ring and rope routine and the linking rings. A magical act with which to start the second half. Tony Rix returned to escape from a straight jacket, but not without much humour and sweat. Still out of breath, he just had time to introduce the top of the bill, Christian.

Christian produced doves galore in an exciting and fascinating way. He had a floating ball and dancing cane; and then proceeded to display his manipulation skills with card productions and vanishes. He then waved a cape around, and whilst I blinked, there was a dog walking around the stage! Finally he covered his cage full of doves with a cover, and when the cover was removed the doves had gone to be replaced with a parrot! The parrot hopped onto Christian's shoulder and joined in the well deserved applause which Christian received for his extremely professional act.

Thanks go to all the acts and the backstage staff of Phil Hansen, Steve Gore, Andrew Stockdale, Steve Barraclough, Keith Pickles, Ivan Robinson & John Hansen.

Eric Stringwell, BMC President 2001