REVIEW: Blackpool Magic Convention, Friday night gala

Issy Simpson dazzled at Blackpool Magic Convention
Issy Simpson dazzled at Blackpool Magic Convention
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They’ve always been shrouded in a veil of secrecy.

So magic was in the air like never before as the world-renowned gala shows of Blackpool Magic Convention were opened to the public for the first time.

Friday’s show at the Opera House saw Blackpool schoolgirl Issy Simpson taking the headline slot.

Introduced as the ‘future of magic’, the sweet nine-year-old took confidently to the stage in front of some 3,000 of her magician peers.

She held the audience in the palm of her hands - including myself, as she plucked me out of the crowd to take part in her cardboard box trick; the same illusion which humiliated Britain’s Got Talent judges Simon Cowell and David Walliams who struggled to lift up a cardboard box that was easily carried by the little magician.

Her ‘pick a random number’ act was astonishing and she closed the show with an enchanting levitation stunt.

The show was expertly compered by American magician Todd Robbins, who borrowed audience members to showcase his hilarious ‘anti-gravity pretzel of death’ trick and horrified those who aren’t in the know by hammering a six-inch nail up his nose.

Mentalist Aaron Crow’s silence during his performance with a blade of chance just added to the intensity of his danger act while Matt Edwards - another former Britain’s Got Talent contestant - combined comedy and elaborate magic brilliantly with his impeccable timing.

A favourite act of the night came from Steve Williams Jnr whose enchanted kettle poured random drinks for audience members.

Christopher Hart played on his signature role of Thing in The Addams Family with his fast paced dancing hand trick while Craig Christian - whose Evolution of Magic show with Elizabeth

Best will be at Horseshoe Showbar at Blackpool Pleasure Beach this season - put his own spin on traditional magic with his urban, edgy performance.

The gala show was an hour and 45 minutes of pure brilliance.