LOCKDOWN MAGIC: RETURN TO ST FRANCIS
Eight hardy souls braved the virus to assemble in person for the first time in eighteen months. The first thirty minutes were spent catching up on chatter and comparing ailments over a cuppa, provided by Allan. Donald the Average showed off a mask designed to match his own face, which created quite an uncanny and surreal effect.
The focus of the meeting was “What did you do in the lockdown?”, and I kicked off by mentioning some DVDs I had watched, or re-watched, and books read., detailing a fascinating project involving the provenance of a gun which had allegedly been used by Ching Ling Soo. Thanks to the technical wizardry of Allan (what would we do without him?) I was able to show images of the firearm and trace the investigation in detail. After some intricate detective work, it was concluded that, although the weapon may have been owned by Chung Ling Soo, it certainly wasn’t one of the guns used in his bullet-catching routine.
It was good to have Bryce Lea with us. He had been working on his own adaptation of Copy-Cat Cards; an idea using a spectator’s calculator found in The Linking Ring.
Carl Pearson made us all envious by displaying a signed copy of Goldston’s More Exclusive Magical Secrets, picked up for £30 on eBay and in very good condition. His own, very effective, magical offering was based upon Andy Nyman’s Dead of Night, using gimmicked cards with special indices.
Harry, our youngest performer by many years, executed a faultless ace assembly which he had come across in a Dynamo book and had obviously been practising.
Donald Monk demonstrated Win or Lose, using gambling chips from Las Vegas bearing the words This, That, Something, Nothing, Yours and Mine, accompanied by an amusing line in patter.
Paul Guy, who also had that effect with him, made a few suggestions before performing with the John Cornelius Perfect Pen, penetrating and apparently tearing a twenty-pound note before showing it once again in pristine condition. He ended up with two of the many possible routines using the David Jonathan/Dan Harlan SNAPS decks.
As is usually the case with such informal gatherings, this turned out to be a most enjoyable and relaxing afternoon in the company of old friends. Let’s hope that a few more join us next time.