Saturday started with a lecture from Martin Sanderson, pretty standard stuff but all done very neatly in a commercial way, Ambitious Card, Coin under Watch, Chop Cup, Bill in Kiwi and Martins Little Sausage which is his take on ring flight, using a stuffed dog, where the ring ends up on the collar.
David Solomon was excellent as expected, he was showing items from his new book, his take on Peter Kane’s Gypsy Curse, his new packet trick Knaves Gone Wild, Mexican Poker which is a great 10 card poker deal of the non-jonah variety. Just friends is a King cutting routine which ends with the production of the Queens. David then paid tribute to Jack Parker and showed a version of the 21-Card Trick with Jack’s idea to vanish the selection. Lucky Card is a signed impossible card location, and finally David finished with his Technicolour Oil and Water and a version of an Ace Assembly that climaxed with all the cards turning blank, and the whole deck as well.T
J.J. Sanvert started with a hybrid bill routine, he pulled a small piece of silver foil out of the bill, and then showed his handling for pen through bill. His Note in Cheese is fantastic, and the method is even better! The second half of the lecture was the card part, he showed Open Travellers with a Royal Flush ending, a variant of The Signed Card plot, a version of Cannibals and what he does when someone asks him to teach them a trick.
We then went for some lunch so I missed a bit of the J.C. Wagner lecture, but caught the end of J.C. demonstrating his trade-mark card under drink, estimation of a thought of card, his Standing Triumph with the J.C. show and a pop-out revelation.
Then it was into the first close-up session of the weekend, I saw Shoot Ogawa who was spectacular as ever with coins, thimbles, flip-stick and Ninja Rings. Helder Guimaraes the current FISM card champion showed us a similar routine to that which he did at FISM a Travellers routine with four signed cards that travelled to his pockets, the deck turned blank, and the signed cards too, and then one was found in an envelope on the table, and the entire deck became printed again. That probably doesn’t do it justice, but I am looking forward to his lecture tomorrow. Michael Close showed us his impossible Salt Shaker, Card, Forehead routine. Finally Richard Sanders showed us Interlace, Extreme Burn, Dough, Alpha Deck and Fibre Optics. His Extreme Burn really does look like trick photography and I love the new additions to the Fibre Optics routine.
The Geoffrey Durham lecture was based on his new book, which having read I was eager to see (the book by the way is one of the best theory/trick books I have read in a long time, go out and buy it now!) Geoffrey talked about how your personality and who you are, are more important than the tricks you do. He demonstrated and explained his Dictionary Test, Gypsy Thread, Magic Square and the Block Trick, sprinkled with words of wisdom that only a true professional could give, a remarkable hour.
Then it was time for the United Kingdom vs. The Rest of the World ‘competition’ which had some good bits and some not so good bits. But mostly it was a good show, the compere Stu Francis of Crackerjack fame was a bit lacking in material, but kept it all together despite getting most of the acts names wrong! Bob Wooding showed his excellent balloon act, which I remember watching on TV as a child, some excellent models in there, and he really makes this craft transfer to the stage. Danny Hunt and Annette performed their escapes, a recreation of the Tony Curtis Straight Jacket escape, his box escape and then his new take on the Houdini Water Torture Cell.
It was the first time I had seen Graham Jolley, he had some strong mentalism, but I’m not keen on his put-down agressive audience handling, but I guess it must work for him! Brian Sefton was immaculate and flawless in his manipulation ending with a poetic Zombie. John Archer came on and sang with his Ukulele, swallowed a balloon, and performed a divination of chosen wax crayons. Despite him having to handle a problematic situation with an elderly spectator, John brought the routine to a successful ending. Martyn James closed the first half with his topsy-turvy illusion, the Barrel transposition and the Wringer.
The second half was The Rest of the World. Fukai went on a bit too long for most people, and was probably hindered by the language barrier and a tired audience, grasping it back at last minute by filling the stage with flowers and mini umbrellas. Rafael performed his Vampire act with the visual seperation of the girl on a couch getting raptuous applause. Shawn Farquhar performed his Shape of My Heart card routine which is a great ambitious routine set to Sting’s lyrics and projected onto a big screen. Roxanne presented her Into the Spiders Web routine culminating in her levitation and rotation in the spiders web. My absolute favourite of the night was Topas with more of his sound wizardry, this time combining this with bongo playing and billard ball manipulation, fantastic! To finish Shimada showed us his skill with doves.