On Saturday 21st November 2009 I had the pleasure of performing at The Magic Circle in London. This building of mystery, dubbed The House of 10,000 secrets, is tucked away in a back alley near the station and save for the signs of the Zodiac (which make part of the club logo) and a limp flag fluttering gently above the narrow blue door, the place is easy to miss. It features on The Knowledge (the test that all London Taxi Drivers have to pass in order to be a cabbie) and frequently chaps ride past on little scooters with their maps out looking somewhat confused by the non-appearance of the Hogwarts-esque (Hey, Shakespeare made up words, I thought I would give it a bash) meeting place.
It is always a pleasure to be at The Magic Circle, the Centre for The Magic Arts and one of the oldest magic clubs in the world. I was performing as part of the Saturday show. These take place once a month after the Young Magicians Club workshops and are open to young magicians, magic circle members, friends and family. They are not advertised and always sold out (we turned people away again this time around through lack of space for them) The best aspect of performing in these shows is the fact that every person sitting there WANTS to see magic. You are not an intruder on their day our or evening celebrations as is frequently the case in other jobs. You are the attraction. People have come to watch you and see what you have to offer.
The sessions normally consist of four close up performers presenting their routines in The Club Room and The Devant Room and then a theatre show in, you guessed it, The Magic Circle Theatre. (The best custom built theatre for magic to be presented in, the angles, lights and space are perfect) I was part of the stage show and, due to the annual awards ceremony being held on the same night for The Magic Circle elite, the theatre had no crew, so I was doing my stage spot in a cabaret setting in the Devant room (named after the first president)
I was on first. I feel that the crowd had been really well warmed up by the close up magic and I did not have a hard job working with them. They were receptive, laughed at the right points, offered freely to join in and responded warmly to my magic routines. I loved it. I also got to perform on the same bill as two fantastic performers. The first, David Weeks, entertained in the close up portion of the evening. A consummate professional and genuinely nice man. I am privileged to call him my friend and we often spend time chatting with him freely offering his advice on my routines and such like (He also performs as a Jester - so all the more reason to like him)
The second was a new face to me. A chap called Hugh Nightingale. I had heard the name and from friends of mine I had been told he was very good. They were correct. His act was gentle and engaging (he was performing on stage to close the evening) and the audience really enjoyed him.
It was lovely to perform at The Magic Circle again after so long and to share the bill with Hugh and David. When we all went out for dinner after the table beside ours happened to be a young crowd of teens who had been to the show. They got a glass of wine sent over for the performers (myself and Hugh were the ones left at that point) which was a really nice surprise and showed how well the evening went. Please do check out www.themagiccircle.co.uk and get yourself along to one of the events. You won't regret it.