Michael Vincent "The Poetry of Conjuring"
Reviewed by Ian Chambers
It was a packed house in the Magic Circle theatre on Monday 17th September for Michael Vincent's one man-show "The poetry of conjuring."
The evening, hosted by Richard Pinner, begun with Michael Bailey (President of the Magic Circle) reflecting on the atrocious attacks in the USA. He read excerpts from several letters received from American magicians and societies before calling the audience to silence for a moment of reflection. Our thoughts are with all of the people affected by this tragedy.
Following these introductions it was time for Michael Vincent. As soon as the curtain rose I was struck by the charisma of Michael. His ability to communicate with an audience was immediately apparent. His relaxed nature and entertaining rhetoric set high expectations for what was to follow. I would not be disappointed.
He began with money - what better way is there to get the attention of an audience! He pulled a red silk out of the middle of a £50 note. The silk then disappeared and re-appeared with no explanation as to its whereabouts. During the evening he performed several other effects using currency. These included making coins appear out of thin air, multiplying and disappearing. A visible coins across (at fingertips) which was spectacular and a one coin routine using a Jumbo coin! But the highlight for me was when he changed a borrowed £20 note into a £10 and then a £5 and then back into the £20 (all at the fingertips!). It was a fantastic routine and was very well received.
Then it was time for the linking rings. Michael dedicated his performance to the memory of Richard Ross - the legendary master of the rings - who passed away earlier this year. I am sure Richard would have been very proud of Michael's performance. It was slow and elegant, the rings seeming to plainly and visibly melt through each other.
The first half also included other effects using rope and silks. All were equally entertaining and mystifying!
Although there was no interval Michael explained that the second half of the show would be devoted to card magic - his personal favourite! One can see why this is the case. His routines were exceptional. The performance of the classic routine, "Everywhere and Nowhere" with an extended end sequence was superb. But as the old cliché goes, "save the best until last!" and this is exactly what he did. Seven members of the audience were asked to pick a card and remember it. Each card was then revealed in a completely different manner. The crescendo of the discoveries was fantastic, building one upon another to the climax where he plucked the last two cards out of the air. The pace and presentation of the routine was stunning, fully deserving the standing ovation that followed.
At the end Michael had left the audience wanting for more. It was a superb performance and I am sure that all who were there would agree that the performance was, "The Poetry of Conjuring!"
© Ian Chambers, September 2001