70 Years of Pure Magic

Nottingham Guild of Magicians
Reviewed by D. May

Last weekend the Nottingham Guild of Magicians excelled themselves with their ’70 Years of Pure Magic’ show held this time at the Arts Theatre in the Lace Market area of Nottingham. To help celebrate the Guild’s 70th year, they incorporated manipulation, comedy, mentalism and illusions into a show extravaganza. You were met and greeted at the door by two gorgeous girls in fabulous costumes before being entertained in the theatre and bar by close-up magicians. The intervals saw the reappearance of close-up magic to keep the bubbly atmosphere going through-out the evening.

To open the show, were the dancers from the Lorna Leighton School of Dance with ‘It’s a kind of magic’ by Queen. Dressed in their white tailcoats, top hats and canes, they certainly got the show of to an entertaining start.

The compère for the evening, Graham Harper, was fantastic through-out the night and from someone that has seen him perform in this role before, his performance was by far his best yet. His most memorable gag of the evening had to be his creative twist on a group audience photo with his traffic camera and the helpful movements of an audience member.

The first magic act of the evening was the manipulation styling of Stuart Brown. Dressed in traditional magician’s attire complete with top hat, Stuart wowed the audience with colour changing canes and silks, before treating everyone to his signature act of dancing hankies.

John Dornan then took to the stage. After winning the Nottingham Guild of Magician’s Stage Magic Competition earlier this year, expectations from this up-and-coming magician were high and John Dornan delivered. Using conventional magic and combining it with wit and humour provided an unforgettable act, especially for the lucky lady who aided him with his rope trick!

Laughter continued through-out the next act with the satirical humour of Graham P. Jolley, as he blew your mind with his marvellous acts of mentalism. The audience were astounded by his rapid ability to read people’s minds and the comical way in which he treated the members of the audience invited to help him with his feats of magic.

After a short intermission, a delightful young lady from Glasgow; Mandy Fletcher, spell-bound the audience with her dancing cane and intriguing glass magic. Set to a Scottish theme, her act was bright and colourful and demonstrated an ability rarely seen in someone so young. This magician is one to watch out for in the future!

Billy Pearce then graced the stage for a short while, to prepare the audience for his full act later in the show. He left everyone rocking in their seats with laughter before the phenomenal illusions presented by Andrew Green, took them on a tour of awe and wonder.

Andrew Green and his lovely assistant performed three illusions during their act including an exceptional levitation and ultra fast sub-trunk switch. Atmospheric music and sparkly costumes mixed with stage magic, provided the audience with an all-round entertaining act.

To finish the evening, Billy Pearce returned to the stage for a further forty minutes of comedy and laughter. His audience representative, a fortunate (or unfortunate) female member of the audience, provided a focus for his comic song and gyrating dance movements. His act was fast paced, dynamic and completely hilarious!

Overall the show was truly remarkable with so many entertaining features bursting from the stage. The mix of magic and comedy kept everyone on the edge of their seats. It is inconceivable as to how the Nottingham Guild of Magicians can improve on this for future performances. It is left only to say a huge thank you to all the hard-working members of the Nottingham Guild of Magicians for organising and show-casing such a wonderful event; especially the show director, Andrew Morrison and stage hands Roy Bond and Graham Colvan, who made all this possible!

© D. May, September 2009




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