Sunday was another early start but what a lecture. FISM Card Champion Helder Guimaraes explained three blockbuster effects. He started with a great visual transposition, similar in style to the Daley effect but with two of the aces isolated in a glass, which changed places with the aces on the table. Cards, Signatures and Glasses was his version of a technicolour cards-across plot, with a very clean handling based on David Regal’s with no technical moves he caused two signed red cards to jump across to a blue packet, again the packets being isolated in wine glasses and held by two spectators. Lastly his effect Three Progressive Choices had three selections chosen in three seperate ways and revealed in an increasingly impossible manner with the climax of the entire deck changing to blank cards.
I then saw the second session of close-up choosing to start with David Solomon, although quieter and more introvert than the acts around him, David’s card magic for all the obvious reasons is strong and powerful and really stands on its own merit, he showed amongst others Technicolor Thunder, Four the Hard Way and an O’Henry Ace Assembly from the new book. Shawn Farquhar started with his T&R Photo he had shown in his lecture. Then his FISM act with signed card to sealed deck, and the solid Cups and Balls. David Stone was his manic self with coin manipulation, bottle productions, signed cards and ending with producing both his shoes! I saw J.C. Wagner last, who is a master of the card-under-glass which caught me every time, he also showed his new version of Factory Misprints.
Shoot Ogawa’s lecture was packed out, and we weren’t disappointed, a mix of cards, coins and thimbles made to look like real magic in the hands of this master magician. His version of Spellbound changed a coin to a spoon. He had an ungimmicked version of Wild Card using a regular deck. He showed two versions of Matrix, the second, which he explained was a very neat backfire. Shoot then showed us a slightly simpler version of his Thimble routine, using just one or two moves but to a very visual effect. Lastly he gave tips on learning the Muscle Pass and what you can achieve with it.
Michael Close only showed and explained two tricks in his lecture, Red Blue Mamma Fooler and his Torn and Restored Card, he then spent the second half telling stories and jokes from his new joke book, which for me anyway was exactly the laugh I needed after seeing magic all weekend, and having read his book previously it was nice to hear the jokes being told by Michael.
The Gala show was compered by Adrian Walsh, a big improvement over Stu Francis from the previous evening, still a little on the old-style compere but a very professional job. Mahka Tendo opened with some phenomenal card manipulations regular cards being produced at break-neck speeds mixed in with jumbo card productions. Rafael performed his dove act, which involves him driving on stage on a small bike, producing doves, a comedy linking ring routine, and finishing with the doves changing to a live girl. Antje Pode a foot juggler from Germany, juggled suitcases on her feet. Scott and Muriel performed a comedy sawing in half, and chair suspension. David Sousa showed his FISM winning Red Envelope act, with cards and envelopes appearing from no-where and increasing in size. Valerie performed lots of quick changes, including one in a sub-trunk where she changes places with a costume that is in the trunk. Topas closed the first-half with a production of varying size speakers to a song he was singing with audience participation, each speaker produced and plugged in, then layered the sound up, till he had lots of rhythm going and the finale was to produce a huge speaker and then Roxanne.
The second half the Yamagami Brothers the world’s youngest illusionists, started off with a one-upmanship style routine where each wanted to show their trick, to a particular piece of music, floating lightstand, and rope penetrations, finished in the vanish of the radio. Then two illusions a visual sawing-through and a spiker illusion. Scott and Muriel came on riding pantomime horses ala Bernie Clifton, and spent quite a long time extracting as much as they could from the situation involving the president of Blackpool dressing up as a giant cactus. Not much magic, all though at the end they did reveal they had managed to steal the watches of all the volunteers. Topas performed his Toy act with the production of lots of coloured balls, a floating and vanishing rocking horse and a growing teddy bear that waves good-bye on its own to finish the act. Shimada closed the show with his Chasing a Magical Dragon, Parasol and Card manipulation ends up with him fighting a big chinese dragon, and then becoming the dragon, and who you thought was Shimada being revealed as his assistant.
And that was it another Blackpool over with! Next year is 20-22nd February 2009.