The Magic Circle Christmas Show 2009
Words and pictures by John Derris
It was great (in my opinion) and in that of the thousand or more audience who rushed to buy tickets way back in October. The compère was John Archer in terrific form, possibly the best we've ever had. He created the right atmosphere within minutes of stepping on stage and kept it right to the end. His comedy and ad-libbing is excellent, his magic outstanding and he offered entertainment with a capital E. (Why he's never been picked up for television I'll never know.) From here he goes to The Magic Castle in Hollywood and then a UK tour. That's how good he is.
From the USA the prize winning act of young Nathan Kepner, dressed in a long zoot suit and black fedora. A totally original theme built around music in which he produced, vanished and levitated real, instruments like a clarinet, saxophone and many other musical items against a background of big band swing music. Easy to see why he won a top prize at the IBM/SAM convention.
A blaze of colour
introduced the Magic Light Puppet Company with huge gingerbread men, dancing
queens and a 10ft high yeti glowing in fluorescent colour and performing
impossible gymnastics. Then from Texas, Oscar Munoz
well known in the U.S. but at last here, to show what a superb performer he is.
Big, balding with black beard, long scarlet coat, and a Mexican accent, he
teased sheer fun and entertainment out of a classic rope routine, balloons,
linking rings, a card prediction and other standards interrupted by his pet
chihuahua throughout the act. Come back Oscar.
Interval - then John Archer packing fun into normally staid effects like the magic square and a book test then changing direction and playing with great artistry a Beethoven minuet on a ukulele! A maestro. Billed was Taiwan magician Tai-Hsiang Chou who had travel problems and never got passed the Heathrow customs barrier so stepping in with great professionalism was Scott Penrose with his classic act of silks, doves, cards, canes, linking rings closing with his giant rabbit (truly as big as a cocker spaniel!) Finally wham, bam, goodbye mam was the fast, cheeky, colourful illusion act of Safire, well established and world-travelled with productions, dismemberments, transpositions and other fast paced illusions with the dazzling blonde part of the act. Easy to see why they are a favourite on cruise ships. That's it!
But not to forget the close-up magicians in the interval, Michael Carr, John Southgate, Dennis Patten and Keith Cooper and please a big hand for the thirty or so Circle workers behind the scenes, members, wives and friends without whom this would not have been the critical and financial success it was. Produced by Peter Scarlett and directed by David Ball. What are you going to do for an encore fellas!
© John Derris, January 2010