Paul Gordon Lecture
Northamptonshire Magicians Club

2nd April 2013

Reviewed by Kevin Burke

Not a huge turnout, maybe because it was the Easter holiday, maybe because Paul’s reputation for being a card specialist to the exclusion of everything else made people decide it wasn’t for them, but for those who were there, it was, as always, a treat.

I have been performing Paul’s “Corner of Piccadilly” as a staple of both my close-up and stand-up sets since he last lectured to the club a few years ago, so I can vouch for how workable his effects are. Granted, his style and presentation doesn’t suit everybody, but I think that anyone who calls themselves a magician should have at least one routine that they can do with a borrowed pack of cards, and pretty much any of the routines that Paul demonstrated in this lecture would fulfil this brief.

This was an accessible, easy to follow lecture with a clutch of original effects which were largely self-working, but which would all have the “wow” factor for a lay audience. Even where the odd sleight was used, Paul was able to demonstrate a “no sleight” version so that nobody should be put off from having a go at them. These were genuinely effects that anyone could do, but Paul was at pains to point out that although they seemed simple, the secret to a successful and entertaining performance was to rehearse to the point where you know your material inside out, something which to my mind can’t be emphasised enough.

I will certainly be incorporating a couple of these effects into my repertoire, but putting the quality of the tricks aside, one of the best things for me about the lecture were the insights into Paul’s thought process when coming up with a new trick, and the many performance hints and tips gleaned from a lifetime in the business.

If you weren’t there, and get the chance to catch him at another club, do it. Don’t be put off by the fact that it is “just” card tricks, I guarantee that you will come away with more than you expected. Everything taken together, this was a very good night, with something for everybody, and for me, a worthy finisher to this year’s lecture programme.

© Kevin Burke, April 2013