The day of two shows, Guy Hollingworth’s “Expert At The Card Table” and Kevin McMahon and Alan Hudson’s Magic To Get Girls By.”
Both shows attract “magicians” based on the fact that both have “tricks” performed in them and therefore I have, in some ways unfairly, compared them here given that I am a lover of magic attending the Festival for a few days and trying to see as many magic related shows as possible.
These two shows come from very different places…
Guy has been thinking about and, indeed performing variations of, his one man show for years whilst Alan and Kevin came up with their show based on the fact that the space was going to be available for nine performances. For some reason Ian Kendall (see below) didn’t use the space for the full duration of the Festival and offered the last period to Kevin (or Alan, I’m not sure which way around) and they got together and came up with this show.
Guy’s show is backed by a sponsor (The Chocolate Factory), is on in a major Festival venue, (The Assembly Rooms), has been directed by a top director ( )and features one of the world’s best card magicians. The result is here for all to see (if you are quick.) Absorbing, amusing, baffling and gripping… the core of the show has remained constant… the fascinating story of S.W. Erdnase and his book but this latest variation of it is greatly improved, even on the version we saw at the International Magic Weekend last Christmas, and I thought that one was fabulous (see earlier in this blog.) Faster paced, more dramatic changes in mood together with lighting and video improvements make for a truly great show that, I predict, will have legs and run and run in various locations for years to come. Catch it if you can.
“Magic to get Girls By” is a far more modest production and seems to me, understandably under the circumstances, to be based on material that the two performers already had in their lockers. The initial premise is an amusingly interesting one… can doing “magic” help you with your attempts to attract girls?
To test this possibility three people, two girls and, in this PC world of ours, one guy are asked to rate Alan and Kevin’s attractiveness out of ten. The scores are recorded on a display board. Each magician performs some routines and then the same “judges” are asked to reassess their scores.
I didn’t feel that there were enough links to this theme in the chosen routines. The guys went off on a bit of a tangent and performed some tricks, only a couple of which had some obvious connection with romance (the flash production of a flower.)
The rest were tricks non related to any romantic theme in any way that I could see…(swallowing razor blades and a thimble manipulation routine.)
At the end, the new scores were added up and there follows the punch finish which should totally blow away any non-magicians in the audience who would be unaware of the devious devices of the Mentalist.
I dare say that if the latter show has the love and lavish attention poured over it that the former one has had, it too would be greatly improved, but I doubt that “Magic to get Girls By” will survive much after next Monday… it isn’t that kind of show.
I must record for completeness that both show did “great business”… both were nearly sold out but of course one had more people in it.
To come (if tickets are available) Ali Cook, Pete Firman and Barry and Stuart.