Friday, November 28, 2008

Welsh Wales

After such a long day traveling yesterday I sleep the sleep of the dead, waking up to a wet Welsh morning.

Over breakfast we watch the local speed cop setting up outside my parents home trying to catch the people speeding up the hill, not knowing that my dad has erected a big sign "Warning! Pigs R Here!" on his roof. Mum takes him a cup of tea on the off-chance that the guy will let my dad off next time he gets caught speeding. My dad gets more speeding tickets than I do!

Tania and Jon - my youngest sister and her hubby - pop round for lunch on the pretext of seeing me, but it probably has more to do with a home cooked lunch. Unfortunately, nieces and nephews are at school today, which is a real shame since I will have to head off without getting to see them.

After lunch I have to catch the train back to London to attend the first night of the magic convention. It's my first time, and I have no idea what to expect, but I am not prepared for the amazing quality of the acts we get to see.

It kicks off with a one man show by Richard Turner, billed as the "Card Cheat". I am no fan of card magic, but this guy is amazing. He can control the deck completely no matter how many times he shuffles, dealing cards seamlessly and invisibly from the top, bottom or middle of the deck to allow him to deal any hand he likes to any one of the players around the table.

An hour whizzes by, and at the end of it, we realise that not only can he do all of this stuff without us seeing, but he is actually blind! He gets a well deserved standing ovation. During the interview which follows, he demonstrates some of his techniques, and yet even when he places a card face up on top of the deck and then proceeds to deal five hands from different parts of the deck without ever disturbing the top card and you STILL can't see him do it, I realise that there is not much point in ever taking up card magic, 'cos I'll never be that good in a million years. Even so, I splash out of his DVDs afterwards, just so I can remind myself of the brilliance of his work later.

The evening closes with a comedy show, hosted by Phil Butler, and featuring some very funny performance by Rafael, Handsome Jack (AKA John Lovick) and David Kaplan. A wide variety of magic is on show and all of the acts are very funny to boot.

Phil Butler is an excellent host, and if you ever get the chance to see him on the comedy circuit I recommend you take it. He closes with an outrageous routine whereby he makes speaking Fisher Price kiddie learning toys say some pretty disgusting things by manipulating the keys - extremely childish and very vulgar, and totally hilarious!

Bodes well for the rest of the weekend.

No comments: