You might like this blog – not a lot – but you might like it!
Tonight we’re going to see Pete Firman at the Lemon Tree; he’s a young magician who has been on TV a fair bit and is now working with Andy Nyman to produce this tour “Hoodwinker”. Nyman has worked with Derren Brown over the last few years to great effect and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Derren live a couple of times and always come away amazed and bamboozled by his show. His ability to plant ideas in your mind and take a whole room into the palm of his hand is such a gift and a great skill. His TV shows have always interested me too with how he has developed beyond just the magic and now uses the techniques to change people’s lives and change their perspectives.
From a young age I loved watching magic shows and seeing close up tricks – Paul Daniels above was probably the first magician I ever saw on TV and we caught him at the Fringe a couple of years ago and he still has a great skill at close up magic. For me that is the best type of magic – close up or street magic where it’s just you and the magician and they somehow pull off a great trick right under your nose. Garry Seagraves is a great showman and his close up magic is something I’ve seen several times over the years at various functions including our wedding where he entertained the guests while we were getting the photos done. Bill Duncan and the Fifth Element group are also very good at this kind of work and again I’ve seen them do their acts at corporate events I’ve worked at.
Penn and Teller for me are one of the best magic acts in the world and I’d love to go and see them live one day – especially in Vegas where they have been hugely successful over the last couple of decades. They know how to combine the close up classic tricks with horrific and ridiculous stunts that scare and excite the audience in equal measure. The recent show “Fool us” with Jonathan Ross was great and I hope it returns for another series as I loved watching the two experts being as flummoxed as the audience at some of the sorcery.
For a lot of people the love of magic turns into wanting to do magic tricks but I’m not interested in seeing the mechanics – I just want to be entertained and confused. Often with these things the truth behind the trick is mundane and disappointing and really you just ruin the whole experience by seeing behind the trickery. It’s a bit like a Wonderbra in that respect. I’d rather not know and be able to watch people over and again without seeing the strings and mirrors involved. It takes you right back to the wonder and awe we all have when you are a child with that innocence and naivety and the pure joy of being tricked at close quarters is a fantastic experience.