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The second half opened with the classic silent act of Lorenzo, his dove productions in particular drawing gasps of wonder. We saw this act twelve months ago when Lorenzo was preparing for the Magic Circle's Young Magician of the Year competition. It took him all the way to the final in the summer, and now at the end of the year it is wonderful to see how it has developed.
Which brings us back in a magic circle to the production of Father Christmas - the real one, as those who gently tugged his beard will testify. He gave out gifts and had time to chat with everyone before riding off with Rudolf for another year.
This was a really splendid beginning to the season's festivities, and our heartfelt thanks are extended to the Docherty team for making it all happen. It isn't all done by magic . . . although the results were truly magical!
Our annual magic party turned into a full-scale Christmas spectacular this year, with falling snow and Santa framed in flickering fairy lights after being conjured up from thin air by four wand-waving children. Donald the (above) Average had literally discharged himself from hospital just for the afternoon to mastermind the event, and special effects supremo Craig Docherty provided the technical expertise.
The first half of the show was overseen by Paul Guy with a running panto-based gag and an ingenious combination of Mark Shortland's 'Amaze Box' with the Bill Abbott 'Five Card Repeat'.
President Elect Anne Walmsley from the USA (don't ask!) presented a series of items in a gentle style which appealed to the youngsters. A Rubik's Cube found its way into a traditional a die box, coloured ribbons vanished from a cone became threaded into a flip-flap, and colours were added and then removed from a colouring book while numerous transparent boxes containing flowers were taken from an apparently empty carrier bag. The flower theme continued with a delightful rose sequence, and there was a beautiful routine in which coloured lights produced at the fingertips were visibly dropped into a bag. Anne's act culminated with her floating table, which left many of her young viewers breathless with awe.
The next act also left us breathless, but for a different reason, as John Farnworth made his MML debut with freestyle footwork which demonstrated just how he has become a record beater with no fewer than eight Guiness world records to his credit. This was a superlative display of footballing skill, interspersed with a card effect on a footballing theme. What was equally impressive, however, was John's engagement with his young audience, presenting a perfect role model and passing on some valuable words of advice in an unobtrusive manner.
John generously gave a signed football to join the myriad prizes for the raffle, which took place after our guests, young and old, had made the food vanish. Thanks to Roger and Irene for all their work in the kitchen department.
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