Wow! This Show is Magic
Comberton Arts Centre
Saturday 2nd March.
by Chris Wardle, AIMC
One would not expect to find the illusions, pace and the 'gasp factor' of a Las Vegas style magic show in a sleepy corner of Cambridgeshire, but Wow! This Show is Magic gave the audience just that. Staged by Dr Bondini (Philip Bond, professional touring performer and first-class illusion builder) and his son JezO (Jeremy Bond, top children's entertainer, actor and pantomime star) they had the audience eating out of their hands within seconds, with an eclectic mix of suave silent magic, comedy trick sketches and full-on illusions.
As both Bondini and JezO devise a lot of their own material, there were many surprises for both experienced magicians as well as the lay public. For example, a comedy routine from JezO concluded with the unlikely production of a gigantic rubber chicken and later he had the audience in hysterics with a Copperfield style death saw but using a miniaturised version, with full spinning blade, on a boxed raccoon puppet! Bondini, in the guise of an artist, levitated his assistant, Paula Templeman, from a pile of empty picture frames and as she rose, the frames parted from beneath her of their own accord to prove that there was nothing hidden behind them. It was a magical and graceful sequence which concluded with her vanishing in a flash and as Bondini looked at her photo, a nearby rose, standing isolated in a glass vase, shed its petals, to the amazement of the audience. JezO also left heads being scratched when he presented his own giant version of Stratosphere using different coloured footballs which changed order in a clear Perspex tube.
The show concluded with a cavalcade of illusions, each one bigger than the last and I will not detail them here to save the surprises for those fortunate enough to see the show. Despite their undoubted spectacle, for me the highlights were when the two performers were interacting. The father and son sparring, the medical sketch, where Bondini removes the stomach of his assistant whilst JezO causes comedy chaos akin to Jim Dale in Carry on Doctor and Bondini's own humorous moments with two children and a very slick version of cards across with just a few cards and an empty envelope. These were all worth the ticket price alone and show that there is a lot more mileage to be had from this new double act.
With a father and son working together it could have ended up as an edition of The Generation Game, but actually it was a triumph from two unique performers (helped backstage by more talent from the Bond clan) and was really The Best of Magic.
© Chris Wardle AIMC, April 2013