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August 2016

Member’s Day

No fewer than twelve performers agreed to leave their comfort zone for our August meeting, and an entertaining afternoon was had by all.

We opened with two initiation performances, from James Bleakley and Carl Pearson, whose son, Connor, is also the latest recruit to our Junior Section.  James did some impressive work with the location of a signed card, evading a spike under a paper cup and producing a lollipop from the flames of an origami version.  Carl also presented a card effect, followed by a billiard ball colour location and a pocket watch which bore the engraving of a chosen name.  It turned out that the whole act had been predicted in a copy of 'The Time Machine', which provided a very neat ending. Despite understandable blips, both performers acquitted themselves well and, most importantly, showed they were not fazed by any problems.

Trevor Dawson was the first of the 'regulars' to perform, with a rope routine, a close-up card effect in which the pasteboards kept altering their sequence, and a coin segment.

I followed, with a book test involving the Harry Potter series and a dictionary inherited from an elderly great aunt.

Roger Woods got into his stride as a children's entertainer, working wonders with an egg bag; rather reminiscent of his chop cup, as the final load included not only an egg but also a tomato and a lemon.

Paul Guy had decided not to do something old and something new, but something new and something old.  These comprised the sort of word effect for which Paul is famous, along with an escape involving a chain, a black bag over the head and a pair of white silk handkerchiefs, all accompanied by the usual quips.

Magic-Anne then took the floor to present a trio of effects which she had recently purchased to use on a foreign holiday, including a green silk and a pack of cards which could be literally 'cut' and split into two smaller ones, a red sponge ball which turned into a red cube and a black ball, and a neat effect in which the name of a chosen card was the only one remaining on a list when it had been warmed by a lighter.

Martin Seed then performed a couple of card effects, covered by an amusing 'magician's insurance policy' which did the trick, so to speak.

Ron Baron was certainly out of his comfort zone, performing without a tie.  As promised, he treated us to a Jerry Sadowitz routine involving a dog bone, the details of which it is not possible to print in a review such as this - but it did involve a lot of manual dexterity and audience participation.

Allan Clarke presented three new items from his developing repertoire.  The first was a very impressive number calculation involving nine audience members, followed by correctly locating photographs depicting various emotions. Allan concluded with a 'Seven Keys to Baldpate' effect inspired by John Archer.

Lorenzo Carcione slipped in with some very impressive card work and dry humour before Donald the Average closed the day as only he can, getting his own back on the MeMeL editor by means of some optical word illusions and concluding with a floating balloon which responded to the inhalation and exhalation of breath.  As usual, it was both original and imaginative . . . as well as being highly entertaining.

Indeed, the whole afternoon engendered the 'feel-good factor', and revealed once again the breadth of talent which resides in the Modern Mystic League.

We were delighted to welcome several guests, including the legendary Donald Bevan, and once again Kate proved herself to be the ideal raffle ticket seller.                       Brian Lead

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