What a 'magical' evening we were all treated to. Before the magic began, the new Secretary and Treasurer were properly welcomed, and members were informed of and invited to participate in an outing to Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester, which was well received.
We quickly moved onto the main attraction for the evening, and Tony Griffiths, our visiting magician, began by demonstrating the first trick he ever learnt, which was amazingly clever and hilariously funny and all about a 'hole'. He explained he became interested at the age of 13/14 when given a book on magic. During National Service he developed his skills and entertained colleagues, and after National Service performed in cabaret and at dinners, etc. He saw an opening for touring schools with "The Science of Magic", and believed in the mantra "you hear, you forget — you see, you remember — you do, you understand". Tony briefly explained his remaining CV, ultimately leading to the talks and demonstrations he performs today.
Tony astounded the group with remarkable knots, number puzzles, optical illusions and then described the history of the Magic Circle, which started in 1905. He explained that most cities have a 'Society of Magic', but these are not the Magic Circle, which is an exclusive Club in London, and becoming a member requires a stringent process, starting with a nomination and a succession of demonstrations and performances. Tony then talked about and demonstrated the style of an early magician, Chan Canasta, and went on to explain how Tommy Cooper's comedic style came about. Answering questions from the floor, Tony told the group that playing cards were the most used of all props, and had evolved from single facet square cards to double facet cards (same whichever way up they are held) with rounded corners — less likely to be damaged. He also pointed out that playing cards are made up of a myriad of mathematical patterns, from the number of cards and jokers in a pack to totals of their actual values.
Finally, with the help of two volunteers, Tony finished his presentation with some mind boggling tricks.The enjoyment of the group was obvious with the loud applause at the end to thank Tony for a wonderful evening's entertainment.