Armed only with a pack of cards and a couple of safety pins, Chris Mayhew kept members enthralled for over two hours at our March meeting. With not a gaffed card in sight, Chris achieved all of his effects by sheer sleight of hand, and for many this was like watching someone crossing the Niagara Falls on a tightrope – an incredible feat to be marvelled at, but which could never be emulated. For the card aficionados it was pure gold.
Chris began with Casino Royale with Cheese, exploring all sorts of variations on a given premise, while his Lu Lu Lemon owed its origin to Paul Harris via Larry Jennings, Chris discussing the difference between the ‘perfect prediction’ and the ‘chameleon card’ concepts and opting for the former. His third item combined three effects in a smoothly flowing modular sequence, using a ‘déjà vu’ idea to complement the classical ‘ambitious card’ and ‘anniversary waltz’. For the latter, Chris adopted the intriguing theme of opposites to produce some increasingly startling, and amusing, effects within the overall ‘frame’.
The linking safety pins (a genuinely close-up routine along the lines of the linking rings) involved the creation of a most convincing ‘key ring’ which did all of the work but was undetectable. Chris paid tribute to Jerry Andrus and Michael Weber for the basic concept, finishing with his own creations in the form of two Jokers with holes visually trapping a third card and a ‘create a card’ theme in which a card (the identity of which was randomly arrived at by members of the audience) was discovered at any position called for.
The main thrust of Chris’s argument was that the so-called ‘classics’ are there to be developed further, with each innovator standing upon the shoulders of previous giants, and the afternoon concluded with President Ian Brown presenting him with a two-pound coin bearing that motto.
Throughout, Chris deconstructed all of his effects meticulously, and was scrupulous about citing all of his sources, displaying a truly encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject in the process.
It was a highly informative and absorbing afternoon.
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