A Night with Andy Normansell
The Order of the Magi, Manchester
Reviewed by Geoffrey Newton
Little had I realised that it is two years since the last appearance of card man Andy Normansell at The Order of The Magi in Manchester, so a welcome return was paved the way on July 11th. This master of his craft with sharp wit and sometimes self-depreciating humour, together with his 52 friends soon had the good attendance enthralled with demonstrations of his skills and ideas. Sharp wit I say which is a good reason why he has produced a brilliant gag book, a valuable asset in any magician’s armoury.
As I saw it his forte for the evening was four of a kind where cutting to the aces and the like were explained in detail. He discussed the tilt move and the J C Wagner ‘wiggle’ move. Another interesting item I picked up is the signing of chosen cards stops you being in a fix when your chosen spectator forgets the one they have chosen!
Setting cards aside for the moment his clipboard routine was the highlight for me.
With this he simply asked a number of people to name a colour, these he listed down then asked someone to name one of these. The one he had previously ticked being the chosen one. An ingenious but simply mechanism and he had only one of these in stock which was rapidly purchased. I am sure he will soon have replenished stocks soon but having said that it is not beyond the realms of a self-made, with reasonable practical skills.
His coin effects were equally interesting, with detailed explanation of coins across using an expanded shell.
His effect which seemed to rely on the balance of probabilities did not quite go according to plan, no doubt due to the heat of the night or the interfering fan but was a lesson to be learnt. This revolved round having two packs of cards individually and freely shuffled. From each pack one card at a time was turned over until there is a card match. Apparently there is a 98% chance of at least one match, but not on this occasion. It took a number of deals to obtain this. The punch is that the matched card is the only one reversed in a further deck. This being brought about by using the invisible deck principle.
Using the invisible deck again brought another show stopping idea. A pad was given to spectator number one with instructions to draw any value of a playing card. Spectator number two was asked to examine, shuffle then reverse one card in the deck behind their back. Result the written and reversed card matched. All that was needed here was a simple deck switch and you were home and dry.
Andrew gave a full evening of his honed to perfection magic, far too much to record in the space available. I’ll finish though with mentioning that he had many good effects, DVDs, and nicely bound publications for sale. By the enthusiasm from the purchasers clearly the lecture had been enjoyed and members and guests impressed with Andrew’s creations.
© Geoffrey Newton, The Order of the Magi, August 2017