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Went to Dynamo‘s Seeing is Believing show at the Sheffield Arena last night. Excellent. Well worth seeing; he’s touring the UK through until April, I believe. You can check the dates here.

I’d not seen him on stage since he did a spot on one of Fay Presto’s late-night shows at the IBM convention some years ago. And as I don’t have a television I’ve not seen his TV shows, apart from the occasional YouTube clip.

I won’t say too much about the content of the show as I don’t want to spoil if for those yet to see it. There were many moments that were, engagingly and unpretentiously, truly magical. He levitated above the stage, of course, performed some technically demanding card work, and one of the nicest Gypsy Thread presentations I’ve seen.

The show was framed by cartoon and real-life clips showing how Bradford-born Steven Frayne became Dynamo, assured magician and global star.

Perhaps this was the real magic… how dogged persistence and talent turned a normal lad with a pretty tough upbringing into a magical celebrity with confidence and natural charm. And with all this success he remains likeable and down to earth.

I first met Steven many years ago when he used to come into The Magick Lounge from time to time to discuss and practice card magic with Roger Curzon and other Saturday regulars. It’s a real pleasure to see someone I remember as a quiet, perhaps even slightly withdrawn, teenager stand on stage in front of around four thousand spectators and present a full-evening show that people loved.

Congratulations to all involved, and thanks for a great evening!

How to Fest

Roger Curzon and I are scheduled to repeat our slightly acclaimed excursion into the rarely-trod byeways of magical history and performance for the experimental theatre company Slung Low in Leeds this Sunday from 3:30 p.m. I’m opening with an illustrated exploration of the curious history of magical invention, followed by Roger who will weave strange, magickal tales around the bizarre curios and artefacts discovered in his late, unlamented Uncle Albert’s suitcase.

This is a medium-sized but pertly formed part of Slung Low’s How-To… Festival 2: Magic & Showmanship. Sounds like it’ll be a great day out for some of the family. To quote their publicity: “Sunday 31 May is a day of performance, film, lecture and food from Myra Dubois, Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Russell Hall & Roger Curzon, Freddie Brook and Manjit’s Kitchen. And because it’s the How To… Festival  you can learn new skills in £paywhatyoudecide creative workshops though out the day; learn how to make the entertainment and the food. No experience necessary!”

The day starts tastily at 11:00 a.m. with Manjit’s Kitchen where she will demonstrate how to cook delicious vegetarian Indian dishes and curries, and you can then have a go at creating them yourselves – all ingredients and equipment are provided.

At 2:15 p.m. Freddie Brook plans to teach us how to Simply Amaze Our Friends in a workshop that will focus on “the performativity of magic and how to incorporate your own style into the tricks that you do.”

As I said, Roger and I will be strutting our various stuffs from 3:30 p.m., including a dab or two of performativity as the occasion demands.

Then at 5:00 p.m. Professor Vanessa Toulmin will take you on a filmic tour of Edwardian Leeds with live piano accompaniment presenting pioneering films of showmen Mitchell & Kenyon in Leeds. If you’ve not seen this presentation before, I highly recommend you catch it. Click here for more details.

There’s a break for dinner at 6:00 when you can enjoy delicious food from Manjit’s Kitchen and refreshments from the HUB’s £1 bar with free tea and coffee. Plus live music from Bianca Gerald before rounding off the day with a hilarious performance for grown ups from Myra DuboisAuntie Myra’s Fun Show is at 7:30pm.

I understand that there is a very limited capacity for all Festival workshops and performances so to reserve places please email boxoffice@slunglow.org with the number of places you wish to book for each event and a contact telephone number.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE RECAP

11:00 Cooking with Manjit (recommended 14+)
2:15  How To… Simply Amaze Your Friends (recommended 11+)
3:30 Magical Inventions and Magickal Tales (recommended 11+)
5:00 Mitchell & Kenyon in Leeds (suitable for all)
6:00 Dinner and Live Music from Bianca Gerald
7:30 Auntie Myra’s Fun Show (Adult content 16+)

See you there!

All events take place at The HUB, 67-71 Bath Road, Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 9UA. There’s free on-street parking on Bath Road on Sundays.

A few of the photographs I took during the Sheffield Street Magic Festival on 1-2 November 2014.

I’m pleased to say that we’ve now had payment for this and are able to pay participants. Shop regulars should have received their pittance fee; if you’ve not had yours, call in or give me a ring. This should be a complete list. If your name isn’t on, contact me immediately.

Peter Antoniou, Russ Appleby, John Archer, Ian Baker, Adam Bell, Steve Brownley, Ashton Carter, Chris Clarke, Nathan Clarke, Connor, Roger Curzon, Darren Dudley, David, Steve Faulkner, Craig Frith, Julie Gascoyne, Ian Hallworth, Peter Hammond, Ian Henshaw, Toby Hudson, Tom Hudson, Ryan Jackson, Ben Jones, Dominic Lawrenson, Nathan Lindley, Looch, Tom Magick, Jared Manley, John Martin, Jordan Maycock, Callum Morris, Gareth Neale, Vincent O’Brien, Gordon Pemberton, June Savory, Ben Smithies, Jake Smithies, Tim Smithies, Wiz Spencer, Andy Taylor, Peter Wall, Tony Wilkinson.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who performed or helped in any way. I hope you enjoyed your involvement and feel that the Festival helped raise the profile of magic in Sheffield.

The 2014 event was much bigger than 2013, spread over two days and with two evening shows and two ‘junior magician workshops’ (despite the organisation  fee being the same!). I’d love to get your feedback and hear your ideas for improvement if we go for a 2016 Festival. Don’t hesitate to comment below, or email me. Thanks.

Spooky TrucksTickets are now available for the Spooky Magic Evening, which will include a Theatrical Seance. This unique event will be held in The Minstrel’s Chambers in the Town Hall at 6:45 on Saturday 1st of November. Doors will creak slowly open at 6:30.

We’ve also got some rather haunting posters. Let me know if you can display one for us. Once again they’re available in A3 and A4. If you have a printer we can email you one as a pdf, or you can collect from Magick (when you’re picking up your tickets for the Saturday and Sunday shows…).

Appearing are Ashton Carter, Roger Curzon, John Blackwood plus that world-famous special guest, TBA. Tickets are £8. This presentation is designed for over 16’s only. Due to the nature of the performances latecomers may be refused entry.

Tickets can be obtained direct from Magick, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. Or by ringing us during opening hours (11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Thursdays and Sundays). You can pay by cash, Paypal or any major debit or credit card.

Please note that this is a traditional parlour style performance and is limited to 50 spectators only. First come…

Spooky Tickets_smTickets are now available for the Spooky Magic Evening, which will include a Theatrical Seance. This unique event will be held in The Minstrel’s Chambers in the Town Hall at 6:45 on Saturday 1st of November. Doors will creak slowly open at 6:30.

Appearing are Ashton Carter, Roger Curzon, John Blackwood plus special guests. Tickets are £8. This presentation is designed for over 16’s only. Due to the nature of the performances latecomers may be refused entry.

Tickets can be obtained direct from Magick, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. Or by ringing us on 0114 276 0482 during opening hours (11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Thursdays and Sundays). You can pay by cash, Paypal or any major debit or credit card.

Please note that this is a traditional parlour style performance and is limited to 50 spectators only. First come…

Please share with your friends… Pass the word and spread the magic!

More news: The haunted magic evening, which will include a theatrical seance, will be in the Town Hall at 6:30 on Saturday 1st of November. Appearing are Ashton Carter, Roger Curzon, John Blackwood plus special guests. Tickets are £8. Over 16s only please!

For more details, event tickets and updates keep watching this blog or ring 0114 2760482 between 11:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tickets are also available from Magick, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG.

This day we shall not falter
On our journey to Athena’s Altar.

Best of luck to all the Guardians, Liberational Manoeuverers, Supplicants and Celebrants!

http://hesterreeve.com/ymedaca