Magic Month: Magic Showcase at the Canal Cafe Theatre

November 06, 2012

It may, at times, have seemed like we were hogging all the magicians throughout October; whether we were inviting them in to the office to perform a few tricks for the team, taking them to a series of Merlin Venues for our Magic Moments Competition or asking them to write guest posts on, say, embarrassing magic moments. But in an effort to prove we’re not Magic Hogs rolling around in a pile of burnt playing cards and bent spoons, we invited some of our favourite clients from the corporate events and wedding world and gave them the opportunity to see a selection of the most astonishing magicians and mind readers that Sternberg Clarke can offer.

Photograph by Chris Orange The Canal Cafe Theatre in Little Venice played host to an [*INSERT COLLECTIVE TERM FOR MAGICIANS*] of magicians and mind readers for the evening and the venue’s intimate cabaret club feel was the perfect way to show off our acts. The show took the form of two ‘halves’ of stage magic with a ‘strolling magic’ intermission with Magicians Dan and Damien O'Brien. [*HOPE I DON'T FORGET ABOUT THAT COLLECTIVE TERM THING BEFORE I POST THIS*]

Ian D. Montfort Photograph by Chris Orange Spoof spirit medium Ian D. Montfort (alter ego of brilliant character comedian Tom Binns) took on comparing duties for the evening. What began as gleefully inept attempts at cold reading quickly became more and more accurate, predicting names of guest’s deceased pets, embarrassing crushes and strange habits with the assistance of a host of celebrity spirits from the other side. Ian had guests alternately howling with laughter and gasping with surprise as a deftly poked fun at the pseudo science of contacting the dead.

Gareth performing a Rope Trick at the Canal Cafe Photograph by Chris Orange Close-up magician Gareth has already featured in our Magic Moments competition with Merlin Events, performing a blood soaked take on his mind-boggling Rope Trick but here we got to see it without all the blood and guts. Thankfully, the routine still dazzles without the viscera. It’s obvious why he says it took him 15 years to perfect but it seems like all the practice was thoroughly worthwhile.  Gareth later took to the tables to perform a few tricks guests and proved to be just as impressive from a few feet away.

Cups and Balls from Pete Wardell Photograph by Chris Orange We discussed The Oldest Trick in the book – the Cups and Balls – in one of our magic month posts so it was fitting that someone performed it at the showcase. That someone was Pete Wardell, the only magician ever to hold both the Magic Circle close up and Stage Magician of the year awards. From the minute Pete began his performance it was clear that the awards were justified, the Cups and Balls is often cited as a proving ground for any serious magician and guests were enthralled by Pete’s frenetic take on the trick.

Alex with two audience Members at the Canal Cafe Photograph by Chris Orange Mind Reader Alex makes no claim to having supernatural powers (though to be fair, not many of our acts do outside of our telekinetic harpist – don’t click that link, it goes nowhere) but his knowledge of psychology and finely honed observational skills allowed him to stun the audience with a deviously clever ‘guess the name‘ trick involving two audience members. Alex was one of the first new magicians we met in magic month and based on his performance, it was a good job we did this whole thing.

Romany's not usually one to choke on stage... Photograph by Chris Orange  If the evening was at risk of turning into a bit of a magic boys club, Romany Diva of Magic set things right with one of the most memorable performances of the evening. Her ‘Tunnel of Love’ trick, as seen on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us, was a fantastic example of a good old fashioned stage illusion spiced up with some delightfully quick audience banter and a few risqué one-liners. Romany’s outlandish stage persona brought a touch of cabaret glamour to proceedings and earned her a warm reception from those in attendance.

Check out a video of the showcase below form Hare Meets Tortoise Productions to whom, along with photographer Chris Orange, we are forever indebted.

We'll have more on the storlling portion of the show tomorrow so stay tuned.

For more information on any of the acts featured in our showcase (or any of our magic acts) head over to our contact page and get in touch. And if you’ve missed any of our Magic Month posts, we’ve got a full list here.

By Garreth Owen