Al Hirschel, hosting the theme “Paper and Everyday Objects”, led off the magic with his item Cut and Restored Newspaper. Later, he workshopped it for us. Quite a lot of work is involved in preparation ! Al also performed Head through Business Card, in which he very carefully uses scissors to cut vertical slits in the card in such a way that it can expand concertina-fashion to form a large ring big enough to slip over his head.
Next, Tom Blunden showed us a column from a newspaper and asked a spectator to cut the item in half anywhere they chose with scissors. The line at which the item was cut matched exactly the first line in a duplicate item that Tom had placed before in an envelope that had been in open view.
David Whitson wove a silk into a rabbit shape. Good fun ! Then he displayed two elastic hair ribbons between his fingers and made them change places. The contrasting colour change was visual and magical.
A number of “Bar Betcha” tricks featured in the presentation of John Ferguson – arrangements of coins, matches, and so on. He showed that if you place your right foot close up against a wall, and also touch your cheek to the wall, you will find it impossible to raise your left foot without falling over. John showed us the “Drunken Shuffle”, in which the chosen card is hopelessly mixed into the pack with cards shuffled every which way, yet the magician is able to restore the order of the pack – all except one card – the chosen card. This trick had been useful in defusing a potentially tense situation with a few football fan supporters when John and Jenny were on a train to Edinburgh back in 2000 – doing this very trick for them made them our friends for the rest of the trip. Magic can be very useful !
Brad Burgoyne did a card trick involving a switch between the chosen card, supposed to be in the spectator’s hand, and the card Brad had in his own hand. The spectator was surprised to find it was Brad who now had his chosen card ! (Overheard among the onlookers: "I know he must be using "X", but he's so smooth I didn't see it")
Two mind reading experiments were shown us by Anthony Roberts. His aim in the first was to read the spectator’s visual clues to find out what colour of Rubik’s cube the spectator had chosen…. a brave example of pure mentalism. Next, what coloured die had the spectator put in the bag and what in the box ? Anthony was able to suss out which of the three colours and two locations were correct. His ability to track bodily and visual signs in spectators is fascinating. He vanished a marked coin, then gave the spectator a nest of brass pill boxes (from Viking) and the marked coin was found in the innermost one. The workmanship of the nest of boxes was admired by everyone.