As anticipated, a larger than usual turn-out greeted our pair of guest lecturers, Harry Robson and Matthew Wright. As solo lecturers they had been impressive, but in a team they were ‘awesome’ as they say these days. It was good to see in the audience many faces we had not seen for some time, and all deemed the day to be a veritable hit, one senior colleague remarking that it was the best lecture he had ever attended.
The main feature was the rapport between the two performers, as they bounced off each other with carefully timed asides which sounded natural but had been honed to perfection.
Matt began on stage with his silent, close-up competition act, generously explaining a reproducing card sequence and demonstrating his skill with the pasteboards, including a very impressive card from mouth.
All of the favourites were there, of course; the Nut Dropper, now also incorporating the RSVP Box in the routine, Harry’s ring-on-shoelace and his record-breaking roughing of a brainwave deck from new pack order. I’ve seen this several times now, and miraculously Harry never fails to beat his own record.
There was a card in wallet, a ‘medallion’ effect and details such as a floating pen which enhanced the presentation of pen through coin.
The talk was littered with invaluable tips culled from years of experience; thoughts about how to approach a table and get the best reactions, both during the performance and at the end with the ‘walk away’. These comments showed great psychological insight, and the most telling anecdote concerned the fact that on one occasion Harry had been employed simply to join the diners, just to enjoy his company . . . and he was still paid his full fee with tip!
Some items were for sale, but in a bout of real generosity the pair offered, on an ‘honesty table’, a range of goods (including the RSVP Box and Nut Dropper) for any amount the members were able to afford.
Our year had certainly begun with a highlight!
Modern Mystic League
Blackburn & District Society of Magicians