05 Jul 2013
Nickname: Joe King
I arrived at St Mary Magdalene’s Church hall at about 1pm to be met by a scene of frantic activity. The Bradford Magic Circle was in town. Ernest and the stage crew were busy working out how to disguise an obvious pantomime set on the stage while the words “one two one two testing” echoed round the hall, indicating that Melvyn on the sound desk was busy testing mics and getting sound levels. Acts were arriving carrying boxes and cases that contained the many props and costumes used in the show.
My job was to video the proceedings, so in middle of all this organised chaos I set up my equipment. Walling myself in with chairs so no one would trip over the many wires, cables and bits of equipment I had brought.
Eventually all was set. The stage crew had done an excellent job making the stage look more business like than pantomime. The front tabs were drawn and the stage lighting was faded up. Soothing background music was on the sound system and members of the public started arriving eagerly anticipating the entertainment that was to follow.
Dead on two o’clock the compare for the afternoon, Stevie B made his entrance and the show got underway. Stevie got to use the six cards he had bought specially for the cancelled Clayton roadshow (see Stevie-tarial Billet July/August) as he performed the six card repeat, a well tried and tested opener.
The first act was Miss Ell Vee (Lauren Stringwell). A great opening act which was both colourful and very entertaining. Her brightly coloured silks made a dazzling display on the stage and the production of a large quantity of milk from a very small tumbler had everyone baffled. Lauren certainly grabbed the audience’s attention and the act went down well with both young and old.
Keith Pickles was next on stage with his children’s magic. In no time he had all the youngsters shouting at the top of their voices when they spotted the wolf peeping out from behind grandma’s house when Keith wasn’t looking. Several children were invited onto the stage to help him with some invisible painting and of course it didn’t take them long to realise that painting Keith with invisible paint was more fun than painting the picture of a clown. I think the adults loved the act as much as the children.
By the way, a word of thanks to Ken Mitchell who did a sterling job helping the victims – sorry volunteers both young and old on and off the stage when required.
Stevie B closed the first half of the show with a bit of business with an egg, a bag, and a female member of the audience.
During the interval teas, coffees and biscuits were served as members of the audience chatted about the show. After the church hall raffle had been drawn and the prizes distributed the Roadshow got underway again.
The second act was opened by Ross Risdon. His usual style of quick fire tricks with coloured silks, instant balloon sculpting, a full bottle of pop, and a card trick had the audience spellbound. The appearance of a strange old man during the act (played by Ross of course) added to the fun.
Next came a change of pace as Dennis Calvert presented a juggling act. After showing us how to juggle with one, two and three balls, Dennis said he would attempt to juggle with nine balls. A feat rarely seen anywhere in the world. The audience held its breath as Dennis gathered up armfuls of brightly coloured balls and made his way to the centre of the stage. After a dramatic pause he launched into the effect and indeed managed to keep all nine balls in the air at the same time. The fact that they were fixed together in three bundles of three had everyone groaning. A very entertaining act by Dennis that was much appreciated by the audience.
Closing the show for the afternoon was Ray Roberts. After borrowing a £10 note and making it disappear, he attempted to re-materialise it with little success. With the help of the owner of the £10 note he demonstrated the latest line in food processing, thinly disguised as a head chopper. As usual the children were on the edge of their seats as the blade hovered over the victim’s neck. Several could hardly bear to look as Ray pushed the blade down. As you would expect alls well that ends well and everything was restored to its rightful owner although it was a tense moment for Ray when the victim could not find the £10 note in a packet of crisps. But she found it in the end amongst the contents of the packet.
Stevie B closed the show thanking everyone for coming along and also all the members of the BMC who contributed to the show both on and back stage. After a long applause the hall emptied and it was time to pack up everything and make our way home.
If you know an organisation which would benefit from one of our Roadshows, why not do what BMC member Ken Mitchell from Altofts did and contact Stevie B.
If you would like to see this roadshow a DVD of it will be in the BMC library soon.