An Evening With Dee Riley
The Gathering, Great Yarmouth
Tuesday 1st March 2016
Reviewed by Steve Majes
“One of the most charming and talented magicians out there right now. What a character!”
“An incredible evening of magic, fun, lots of laughter and good advice. Full marks Dee Riley!”
I first met Dee around two years ago when he lectured for a local magic society, he was certainly memorable! Dee has a stand out from the crowd character and back then he had some slightly ‘out there’ and ‘shocking’ style effects. So when I knew he was back in our area I didn’t hesitate to pop along to catch up with this interesting character.
It was great to see how Dee’s performance style was maturing into a very eloquent and well formed character, the few harsh edges that I had seen in his previous incarnation were now very smooth and this character was very welcoming and charming. I mention this as Dee himself explained, during a question and answer session that he had developed this character as an extension of his own personality and style, a character for work as a magician and entertainer, once work finishes he can hang up this character and become a more reserved version of himself. Dee also explains that he is not always ‘on’ and as himself he is not likely to be doing magic tricks for everyone he meets but pursuing other creative interests.
The evening started with Dee’s cabaret style show “Being Dee, Alt by Default” in front of a mixture of magicians and the lay public, he managed to bring the audience together as a group and played to the venue extremely well. Dee used musical segments and patter segments throughout his performance which gave a nice light and shade as he revealed more of his character. Effects included a musical version of the multiplying bottles, a psychological revelation of various audience members as he matched their secret drawings to the individual characters, the final drawing unseen by Dee was duplicated with more than a good margin of error which received good applause. Along with the serious moments Dee showed his slightly cheeky side with a sponge ball routine and a variation of the classic cups and balls with a comic ending. Dee likes to experiment with classics and as the crowd had warmed to him he previewed his working progress with the Professors Nightmare, some points of this he was still working on so it was more of an interlude before the build up to his final effect. “I Think Therefore I am” is one of Dee’s favourite quotes by Rene Descartes and the philosophy behind this quote played a major role for the theme of Dee’s last effect, I’m not going to describe that effect here as it would spoil it’s impact for future audiences.
After a short break Dee opened the floor to questions, and they came enthusiastically from both the magicians and the lay public, it was interesting to hear the questions the public put forward and Dee answered all with honesty. Dee is extremely passionate about variety entertainment and is eager to bring that back to the mainstream, the public whole heartedly agreed with him and this created an interesting debate, after the question and answer session Dee mingled with the magicians to talk more about the secret side of the business. Later in the evening I did see Dee pop back over to the public and happily chat with them about their evening.
Dee is a lovable character and a real people person, having only been a working professional for just over six years he has come a long way and gained a lot of experience in a relatively short period of time. It will be very interesting to see what direction his performance and creativity flows in, so keep an eye out for Dee Riley.
© Steve Majes, March 2016