A Magic Walk

August 2012

Reviewed by Jack Stephens

Faringdon is a small market town in the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire on the edge of the Thames Valley between the Thames and the Ridgeway. Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson 14th Baron Berners, more commonly known as Lord Berners was a composer of classical music, a novelist, a painter and aesthete, who lived in Faringdon in days gone by. What have they got to do with each other, and what is their connection with magic?

Peter Wentworth, local magician and "character", plays the role of Lord Gerald Berners on a wonderful heritage walk around Faringdon. But a walk with a difference. Forget about history-it is choc a bloc full of magic. Peter calls the walk the Bizarre Faringdon walk and it is based on the wonderful Bizarre Bath walk, and has Noel Britten's full blessing.

Meeting in the market square of Faringdon Peter takes his walking guests on a leisurely stroll performing trick after trick. These tricks are all linked in with the surroundings and so for instance outside of Lloyds Bank he will perform Al Koran's Jackpot coins; talking about King Alfred, a chosen card is revealed inside one of his burnt cakes; standing in front of the Chinese Restaurant he performs John Archer's Chinese Choice and he again turns to John Archer for one of the greatest books tests of all time, Streets, which he uses at the crossroads by the Corn Exchange. Looking in at the local estate agent, Peter wows the group with a Derren Brown type effect, devised by Bob Gill, and then performs a clock prediction using the clock above the market restaurant.

All the tricks are linked to the surroundings, and add to this the wonderful charm and sheer enthusiasm of your walking guide, you are provided with an experience of pure entertainment, and a performance totally different to your standard magic show. By the time the highwayman has cheated the gallows (Fogel), you have laughed at Bob Read's dog carrier, been stunned by the Danson Diary Trick and witnessed the pink pigeon revealing a vanished ring (don't ask!) you will be overjoyed with the fun you have had on this, er, very bizarre walk. Really, not to be missed.

If you can make it to Faringdon on 14 or 15 September, meet in the Market Square at 6.30pm, and be prepared for an hour and a half of great magical entertainment. It will be the best 5.00 you ever spent.

Further information can be obtained via peter@milehighmagic.co.uk

Jack Stephens, September 2012

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