Neptune Magic Society Juniors' Christmas Show
Reviewed by Ajay Vora
I was asked by Danny and Stephanie (from Amethyst) to come as a guest for the junior magician’s Christmas show on the 8th December 2019. I had already attended their one day convention in August when I had seen very enthusiastic young magicians, most of whom had recently joined, and very nervous and hesitant, being new to magic. Danny had now asked me to come and judge their progress at their Christmas show.
What a difference! I arrived at the venue – MagicBox in Newcastle. This is the first time I had been there and was pleasantly surprised by the very large two floor shop with a huge display of all sorts from close-up magic to large illusions. As I entered, I got a very warm welcome from the staff. There were many young performers, all keen to show close-up magic, dressed for the part, mingling amongst the large audience who had come to support them prior to the stage show.
MagicBox had set up the stage area, sound system, lighting, headset microphones, and seating, to give the youngsters a great stage area to perform from. The evening was in 2 halves of an hour each with a short interval. There were 20 performers (from 8 years age upwards) a lot of them with only a few months experience. Just think of that: 20 young performers doing a stage show with just a few months experience. And they were fantastic!
They were tremendously enthusiastic, really enjoying the experience and performing a whole variety of magic, from cards, ropes, mentalism, escapology, comedy, levitation, fire, from children’s magic to large illusions. Danny introduced each one and explained that scripting had been done mainly by the performers and many had also picked the magic that they wanted to do.
All of them came on very confidently! Some had a silent role helped by Danny who went through the script. The audience were truly captivated and joined in with the spirit of the evening, cheering on the kids. A lot of the parents had helped with the costumes, makeup, as well as the fund raising items (Raffle, etc). Two performers had just joined weeks earlier and went through a complicated comedy baking routine with a final dove pan production of a cake, having put their own script and gags in! The evening went by very quickly and by the end I could see that we had a few stars of the future!
The individual performers were:
Alex (the Neptune Magic President) who did a mentalism act involving the spirits and referred back to the time of Houdini and the spirit mediums.
Brynn who performed a colouring book routine.
Taylor who performed a Christmas themed Hippdy-Hoppody rabbit routine, and had the audience in stitches as he interacted with the audience, with appropriate very funny comedy (including comedy stares) to their unscripted responses.
Owen who did a Multum in Parvo milk trick using different sizes glasses and a jug filled in turn from a very small glass.
Matthew with a voodoo presentation and ambitious card routine.
Ben who performed the Professor’s Nightmare routine
Trevor the Elf (Austin) who was Elf and Safety who rushed on and interrupted the show for Elf reasons as Danny had a very dirty handkerchief and proceeded to change it magically to a clean one.
Naveen who did a brilliant magic square routine where a number card was picked by an audience member, and proceeded to lead us to believe the trick had gone wrong but solved it with a kicker ending.
Liam who performed a very funny “Vanishing Bandana” routine.
Taylor. N and Lucy performed the Gene Anderson newspaper tear and the gypsy thread balloon. They finished with a spectacular fire illusion where Lucy went into a pyramid and Taylor (with the help of Danny) inserted large flaming rods into the illusion, with Lucy reappearing, again unharmed!
Alex who performed a Santa Sack escape.
King Jaques amused us with a rope and the golden snitch effect. The snitch magically comes off after being tied up with the rope.
Sam, Joshua, Ben and Austin did the Dante’s Lazy Magician routine but as a lazy elf.
Taylor did a comical evaporated milk jug routine wandering around the audience picking on a volunteer to pour the milk over!
Jaques, Sam and Joshua - did a spectacular floating carpet levitation.
Abbie and Gabrielle - made us laugh with magic baking, with the theme of a Christmas magic “Bake Off” making a real Christmas cake.
The show was completed with a guest appearance from Joe Mein (an older junior- but still a long standing member)- with his own act featuring vanishing a spectators ring, which reappeared in a Christmas present.
The credit to the tremendous success of the juniors must go to Danny and Stephanie who fly back from wherever they are in the world to the monthly meetings. Not only do they teach them the magic but also encourage the kids to develop their own personalities, by encouraging ideas and scripts from the kids themselves. They transmit their enthusiasm not only to the kids but the parents as well. This time they had come overnight from Cromer, and started the rehearsal all day with Danny managing to get 15 minutes sleep on the stage floor prior to the audience coming in! Credit also to MagicBox who provide the venue for meetings and this show, and who help in all aspects of promoting these young kids.
I am sure we will be seeing more of these young stars in the future.
© Ajay Vora, December 2019