The Modern Mystic League

JUNE 2024

Copyright © 2023 MeMeL

Design by Allan Clarke.  All Rights Reserved

Blackburn & District Society of Magicians

A jolly band gathered for this year’s Chairman’s Day, which took the form of ‘Chairman’s Choice’, in which Roger Woods invited several members to perform his favourite effects.

Roger took the lead himself, with the series of impressive optical illusions recently produced by Meir Yedid, followed by the obligatory card trick. Not without reason has Roger been hailed ‘the Si Stebbins King.’

Allan Clarke’s theme was number magic, resulting in a multiple prediction involving colours, dice and emojis.  Allan’s stated aim was to educate as well as entertain, and he managed to do both with his Series of Statistical Anomalies.  

To close the first half, Carl Pearson took us time travelling to the early decades of the last century.  Richard Blackie was his volunteer assistant as he correctly revealed a word from a book and the details of a diary entry, as well producing a chosen card and a coin from a randomly selected year – in this case, 1912. This was a carefully crafted routine, created from several items, and Carl even dressed for the part.

Roger had laid on a spread of sweets and savouries, enhanced by some delicious and attractive cup-cakes courtesy of Margaret Guy. There was also a raffle and, as he had wished, we raised a glass to the memory of our recently departed dear friend, Harold Wells.

The Chairman's choice.
Brian Berry opened the second half of the programme with some firm favourites, beginning with a comical visual request for applause.  Some nifty card moves were followed by his trademark poppet beads and road signs, then we had a card prediction and the optical illusion of Roger’s shrinking head!

Paul Guy presented Five-Card Repeat to the story of his earliest magic shows, culminating in the disappearance of all the cards, then a very impressive magic square using a number pattern created by Francesca.  Typical of Paul, who is known for personalising effects, he had created a special ’70 total’ version to celebrate a 70th birthday.

The show closed with our very own Donald the Average, the mad Monk, using Craig to eliminate cards in a fashion which left the floor looking like the after-effects of an explosion in a playing card factory.  Francesca was also called upon to eliminate items at random as she took part in the Chance Of A Lifetime (COAL) game.  Unfortunately, she was not left with a world cruise or an expensive car but with a balloon animal.  Who would have guessed?

I linked the acts with some new sight gags, a magic version of the Baby Gag and the Wessex Die Box.

There were a few mishaps here and there throughout the afternoon, but all were met with the good humour which is typical of the MML.  It was especially satisfying to see in performance some routines which had been developed at the workshop.

Brian Lead