The MML has now been holding its annual dinner at the Mytton Fold Hotel for quarter of a century, and in that time we have attracted magic’s top cabaret performers, from Paul Daniels and Alan Shaxon to John Archer and Mark Shortland.
This year’s after-banquet show achieved the perfect balance, with our compere-beyond-compare Quentin Reynolds introducing current Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year Leah Mae Devine, performing with her sister Sara Jade as Destiny, the ever- popular Amethyst (Danny Hunt and Stephanie Clarke) and the multiple award-winning Oliver Tabor with his music/magic themed act.
Quentin presented his trade-mark Troublewit, a speech for any occasion, the coffin-folding routine (!) animated mouse and Slydini silks; but such a bald list does not do justice to his immaculate presentation, which genuinely makes him the ‘compere’s compere’.
Destiny combined large-scale illusions with the classical linking rings, and once again showed they are totally unfazed by potential disaster when their snow/confetti fan refused to play ball. Sara Jade simply picked up a hand-held fan and used that instead, neither face showing a hint of panic. Commendable composure, and a delightful act.
Danny and Stephanie again presented their trade-mark items, including the colour-changing records to the Mr. Bo-Jangles track, Pavel’s Walking Knot and milk to light-bulb – all executed with great flare and flourish. That was not all, though, because Amethyst closed with their own illusion and introduced a new routine wherein three solid rings passed harmlessly through the arm of the MML Chairman’s daughter, Helen.
‘Act as known’ (at least to magicians) does not do justice to the brilliance of Oliver Tabor’s performance, which continues to develop. The final appearance of a full-sized cello to replace a vanished cage full of doves is a stunner, along with the subtleties of the word MUSIC transforming imperceptibly into MAGIC and back again. Oliver’s dove productions and vanishes are a treat, cleanly handled and again with every consideration given to the overall theme which links the arts of magic and music.
As usual, the venue and meal were first class and the speeches, by President of the Northern Magic Circle Danny Hunt, MML President Roger Woods and President of the North Western Society of Magicians Roger Heath, were just long enough, with an appropriate blend of amusement and sincerity.