Horseshoe Bar, Pleasure Beach
It may have been his opening night, but Christian Farla was already right at home in the Horseshoe Bar at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Proclaiming his base for the summer season ‘the home of magic’, the charismatic Dutchman, who wowed Simon Cowell in the audition rounds of Britain’s Got Talent last year, kept the audience guessing throughout his show.
He seamlessly blended big, flash illusions with close-up tricks, sharing the stories behind some of these with the crowd for the premiere of Magic And Illusions, which runs throughout the summer.
Farla opened with quick-fire stunts, glamorous assistants appearing and disappearing in a flash, before embarking on a trip through magical history, recreating tricks from some of the greats – Houdini, Alexander and Blackstone to name just a few. All delivered with a good level of humour.
There was a good amount of familiarity in the show, classics such as the cup and balls routine and sawing a lady in half, but I’d certainly never seen some tricks before –and judging by the jaws on the floor around me, plenty of others were in wonder and awe too.
But close up is perhaps where the charm really comes into its own. Drawing you in close, with the aid of live camera and big screens, coins jump around under his hands, metal rings link and separate, and paintball bullets are caught from guns, all without giving away the slightest inkling of how it happened, absolutely maintaining the mystery of his art.
And bringing members of the audience into the act made for some magical moments too. Youngsters Anna and Luca couldn’t hide their confusion at what happened right before their eyes, and they’ll certainly remember their experience for years to come – hopefully with no ill effects for Luca, bravely speared through a box all thanks to admitting he liked ketchup.
n Christian Farla, Horsehoe Bar, Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Call 0871 2229090 for tickets.