This is a somewhat unusual format for a Saturday night at a cricket club. Part stand-up comedy, part magic display, part chat show, part audience question time, it provides some entertaining and fascinating insights into the world of magic (That’s the card tricks and illusions sort, not the Glastonbury druidical crystals sort which is comic in an entirely different sense). The host is the ebullient Danny Buckler, an adept compere and stand-up whose sharp but essentially affable style sets the tone of the evening, ie funny, with trickery. He even does a card trick himself, just to set the scene, before introducing the first of the three magic acts. Andi Gladwin is an ex-computer programmer with a sharp line in patter and some unbelievably baffling mathematical mind games; followed by Canadian and Bath resident Billy Kidd. She’s a relaxed and adept performer with a nice line in friendly audience involvement with close-up magic, her tiny frame belying her large confidence and expertise, and, Bathonians, though her career extends world-wide, she’s on regularly at the Ale House in Grand Parade! Doug Segal is another thing altogether. A big presence in more than one sense, he’s the size of a house and bears some resemblance to Brian Blessed in looks and in the less than gentle approach to his illusionist mind-messing with the audience. In between the acts, Danny interviews each of them individually, Jonathan Ross style, wisecracking but also allowing them scope to talk about their careers; and at the end brings all of them back on stage to respond to questions from the audience. In all, this innovative format really works. The jokes are funny, the magic and mind-reading isentertaining and impressive, and the opportunity to put questions to three totally dedicated experts from the very demanding world of magic is both illuminating and intriguing. A success on every level.
John Christopher Wood