55th Bristol Day of Magic
Sunday 10th May 2015
Reviewed by Elizabeth Warlock
The 55th Bristol Day of Magic held on Sunday 10th May at the Winter Gardens, Weston-Super-Mare, presided over by Barry Savage and opened by British Ring president Alan Astra, saw a packed programme of lectures, a close-up session, dealers fair, gala show and so much more.
Starting the Day was Russ Brown on a lecture of childrenís magic including balloon modelling. He was closely followed by Michael Dardant from New Orleans with a three phase card effect, Invisible Deck, rubber bands and a bow and arrow balloon routine; Tom Stone from Sweden explained some of his truly magical effects as did Franceís, Vincent Heden with mentalism, and Joseph Barry with his very clever card improvisations.
In the close-up Mario Lopez had a great cigarette and lighter routine rather in the style of Richard McDougall, and a novel diminishing sponge ball routine; Tom Stone included a one coin routine with pen, Ramsayís Coins and Cylinder and the Cups and Balls using two cups; Michael Dardant gave us a finger ring routine, and the production of steel ball bearings of every size, and Vincent Heden presented mentalism that included a book test and a memory test from a book.
Interspersing the lectures and close-up Mandy Davis hosted a session for young magicians, there was a circus workshop with Steve Rawlings, a Bunko Booth with Doc Eason, and a question and answer session featuring Joseph Barry, Mario Lopez, Doc Eason and Vincent Heden.
The evening Gala Show at the Playhouse Theatre saw a variety of acts. Emceed by Michael Dardant there were Tom Stone in two spots. In the first there was the production, vanish and reappearance of coins, a book test and rope routine, and secondly sucker Egg, a book test and his famous massive sponge ball production. Vincent Heden presented a memory book test, and Phyl Hoyles did a rather poor impersonation of Tommy Cooper performing effects like Hippity Hop Rabbits, Multiplying Bottles and Spot the Dog.
Danny Hunt and Stephanie as Amethyst romped through a number of illusions that included the Lions Bride, penetration through a sheet of steel, Assistantís Revenge and Pavelís Walking Knots. It was slick and fast paced. In a slower vein and rather dim lighting Ali Cook also did illusions that included a duck and chicken heads transposition, an effect with the vanish of a borrowed shoe and revealed in a box that had been hanging from the flies, and a variation of the Substitution Trunk using a water tank.
As so often in magic show it was a juggler who stood out. This was Steve Rawlings (photo) a very funny comic who juggled through a series of antics that had the audience splitting their sides with laughter. Each half of the show was opened by a large troupe of five to eighteen years olds from the Footlights Dance Academy.
The day was organised by Amanda Nicot, Dave Alexander, Ozzy Dee, Simon Lane, Jon Billett and Chris Payne.
It was sad to learn that this could have been the last Bristol Day of Magic in Weston, as the Winter Gardens has been sold to a college. It will be difficult to find such an ideal venue within a 25 mile radius of Bristol, and we wish the Society luck in their search.
© Elizabeth Warlock, May 2015