Red Cross Charity Show


May 6th, 2004

Reviewed by Ron Gilbert

Members of the Wessex Magical Association and members of The Magic Circle took part in staging a one-off evening show in aid of the Red Cross Celebration Week on Thursday May 6th 2004, at the Barrington Theatre, Ferndown, Dorset.

The show was produced by Ron Gilbert MIMC, who is also current President and Hon. Secretary of the WMA. Curtain up saw local Equity branch secretary Ann Christopher introducing a group of talented singers to get the programme off to a good foot-tapping start.

Then magic acts followed with Stephen Lickman MMC who opened with a miscellaneous silent act to music which featured the excellent well-known presentation of his own Three Ring Routine and a startling presentation of the Peter Warlock Glass Penetration with flaming tapers, to great applause from a packed house.

Bill Taylor pattered through lightweight items with a droll style and amusing anecdotes, with the first half closing to the colourful spectacle of Carols ‘Fantasy in Colour’. Carol is Rons’ wife and he assisted in the reversal of roles in with the usual custom of ‘assistant’, by taking props on/off stage to the amusement of the audience. This bright and colourful act, featuring silks, streamers and multi-flower productions, magic painting, umbrella production and much else culminated in three large botania productions right across the stage.

Before the show commenced and again during the interval, Chris Woodward, MIMC, supported by Terry Smith and Wesley Muir, roamed throughout the audience showing close-up magic which many were thrilled to see magic at such close range. This interlude made a great impact on the audience even before curtain-up and apart from putting the audience in a good expectant mood, was a talking point well afterwards.

Backstage Alan & Joan Wright , both Past Presidents of the WMA ably took care of all the necessary behind scenes which is so often never acknowledged.

Annies Angels opened the second half followed by John Brett with his colourful dove act as featured by him in bygone years, on TV and on cruise liners.

Paul Hyland followed with amusing patter and a balloon dog routine. The ‘dog’ found a chosen card at the end when he called “Spot, Spot, where are you? to the lighting engineer as a cue, but the balloon dog held the card under its chin instead!

The hit of the show was Graham P. Jolley, MIMC, who stunned the audience with his quick wit, rapid-fire mind reading stunts and had the audience clamouring for more at the finale! All this from a mindreader closing a magic show! But then, only Graham could have done so! Afterwards the contented audience were talking and wondering how his multi-effects were achieved and departed, shaking their heads in disbelief at witnessing an act with obviously no camera trickery!

All in all, there has been a tremendous response from the public for the show, with many witnessing a live magic show for the first time, and asking “when is the next one”. With over £600.00 raised for the Red Cross, the Wessex Magical Association and those members of The Magic Circle might well give themselves a pat on the back for a most satisfying well balanced show.

© Ron Gilbert MIMC, May 2004