Oliver Meech and Bruce Glen -
Summer Sorcery at The Magic Circle
Friday 13th July 2012
Reviewed by Kevin Doig MIMC
On Friday 13th July, Oliver Meech and Bruce Glen presented a show as part of the Season of Summer Sorcery at The Magic Circle Headquarters in Euston. They each presented one half of the show, each part being based on the separate shows they had previously presented at the Edinburgh Festivals.
First performing was Oliver Meech. His show, entitled “Live Brain Surgery”, was a comedy presentation of some mental effects. The theme, as the title implies, had Oliver dressed in medical physician costume and was based around a cod lecture on the Brain. It was clever and very amusing. It included a gruesome comedy brain operation with production of edible veins! There was a very quick presentation of Electric Chairs which does depend rather a lot on the unfortunate volunteer! His God Helmet had two spectators seeing vastly different things when looking at the same picture and he managed to vanish a spectator’s memory whilst showing the superiority of his own by memorising the order of a shuffled pack of cards. The reveal of a word freely chosen from a book was made using the medical wristbands which had been handed out to all members of the audience as they arrived and were shown to their seats. A one-ahead revelation of an animal and celebrity closed this highly entertaining first half. It is not easy to present mind-magic with consistent humour but Oliver certainly managed to do so and appeared to delight the audience.
The audience, many of whom were not regulars at The Magic Circle, enjoyed a chance to inspect the displays in the Devant Room or soak up the atmosphere, and the drinks from the bar, in the Clubroom during the interval before expectantly returning to the theatre for the second half.
Bruce Glen is an Australian magician on a visit to the U.K. and how lucky we were that The Magic Circle was included on his schedule. His specialism is story-telling magic and his half of the show was entitled “The Fringe of Reality”. His theme was around an Albert Einstein quotation “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” and started with a Professor’s Nightmare routine using a series of “what if...?” questions. Bruce took us on a tour of great story-tellers including Charles Dickens, JK Rowling, Lewis Carroll and JM Barrie whilst performing effects such as “(W)hole Thing” involving some whole cards and some hole cards! With a suitable story, Bruce gave us a charming Chop Cup routine. In fact charming sums up the feeling of this entire half and there was a nice demonstration of “Ghost” the shoulder tapping effect which could just as easily have fitted into Oliver’s first half. The Sly Silks Routine was presented with a background story involving Houdini and Conan Doyle. My favourite routine was Bruce’s finale all done silently to music. After an introduction involving Harry Potter’s world, The Lord of the Rings and King Arthur and Merlin, the music was boosted. Three borrowed finger rings were wrapped in paper and vanished one by one and eventually returned in a sealed wooden box produced from a previously shown empty screen frame. Bruce finished his set quoting from Peter Pan “you know that place between sleep and awake – the place where you can still remember dreaming?”
After well deserved applause, Bruce returned to the stage and brought Oliver back. They then proceeded to performing a chosen card routine in tandem with Oliver adopting an Australian accent and Bruce giving us Queen’s English (emphasis on “ish”!) It was a very funny end to a really enjoyable show. An appreciative audience made it abundantly clear that they had enjoyed this little Friday night hidden gem. Well done to Oliver and Bruce for a very different and thoroughly enjoyable evening.
© Kevin Doig MIMC, July 2012