Spooky Magic at the Grill Room, Café Royal, Piccadilly

September 2004
Review by Anthony Pearson of Tranquility Base

It was a dark, dark Sunday evening and I found myself in the spooky, mystical yet enchanting Grill Room at Piccadilly's Café Royal in London. For those not familiar to this venue, it is a very majestic, ornate room walled with mirrors. What better venue could there be for a group of talented magicians to dazzle our minds with their mixture of illusion and hypnosis? Indeed I was convinced the mirrors would help the magicians, but once I had seen them in action I soon came to the conclusion that it must have actually made the job more difficult.

The evening was hosted by James Cheung. He warmed up the audience with tricks of the mind such as the now infamous spoon bending trick and was more than keen to get the audience involved. Despite being evidently nervous and occasionally stuck for words (mind you, the place was packed out), he had little to apologies for and his close up magic was just as intriguing.

Indeed the audience was spoilt for half an hour by him and the talented performances of Daniel Young and James Laver with their close up magic. The audience were free to browse (with drinks in hand) from table to table and experience their skilful card tricks and props magic. Despite the mirrors and my desperate attempts to lean into the reflection I was left dumbfounded at the fresh variety of tricks that they effortlessly pattered out, one after another. I hoped they'd go on all night and they probably could.

But it was back to the tables to see the final acts. First up was a sword swallower called "The Space Cowboy". This guy really got the audience warmed up. This guy could get the Hippodrome warmed up. He had some great gags including choking on a small hair that was on the sword in an hilarious false start. Shame he only had the one trick mind.

Finally, Luke Jermay. All I can say is about this guy is "You heard it here first!" It won't be long before this young artist is on our TV screens and if he's not, I want my license fee refunded! His tricks were highly original and provocative, his banter, even ad libs, hilarious! The guy was on the ball. From stopping someone's pulse to completing a Rubik's cube in a bag whilst simultaneously completing a maths conundrum with random numbers from the audience......?!?!?!?! There's magic! There's entertainment. Then there's Luke Jermay.

The whole evening was brought to you by False Impressions and for anyone looking for that unusual date or night out, I'd thoroughly recommend it. I look forward to more.

© Anthony Pearson, October 2004




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