Wednesday, 12 June 2013

UCLU Variety Show at the Magic Circle and Soho House

The sun was streaming in through the windows as the invigilator took one final glance at his watch and called that time was up. The room of students in front of him scuffled as they wearily put down their pens. Finally, after many long weeks of revision, the last exam was over. Freedom beckoned and I answered with full force, jumping on the first train out of the city and back to London. I had a fabulous weekend ahead of me which was to be kicked off somewhat magically that very evening!

Last Thursday, Marcus and I went to watch a variety show which had been organised by his friend Edward Hilsum, a rising star amongst magicians and a member of the secretive Magic Circle. It was at the Magic Circle's head quarters the show was to take place, a building full of mystical displays and frequented by extraordinary people, tucked behind an unobtrusive blue door.  I could easily spend a few hours wondering between display cases, ogling all the artefacts, but soon after arriving we were ushered into our seats. Marcus and I were lucky enough to have some of the best in the house, right in the front row!

The most magical of staircases

Murals decorating the staircase

The show was incredible and really did justice to the concept of 'Variety.' The acts ranged from a serene contortionist to the strangely enthralling  art of 'paper cutting,' whereby a lady stood on stage and cut silhouettes out of paper while the audience watched with bated breath. Ed performed his incredible dove act (I can never get over the finale- it's simply mind boggling!) and there was even a special surprise performance from Piff the Magic Dragonwho left the audience in stitches! The whole night was hosted by the hilarious Young and Strange who made a girl vanish into thin air!

The evening really was magical and I couldn't recommend the shows highly enough. The amount of skill and talent put on display is simply astonishing and made me wonder what on earth I was doing with my life! Unfortunately for you guys, I think this show may have been the last of its kind for now, but be sure to look out for it in the future- hopefully Ed will co-ordinate something similar at some point!

After the main show, a few of us got talking to the liveliest of characters I've met in a long time, Fay Presto, who also performed that night. She kindly invited us along to her local haunt which just happened to be Soho House! For the second time that night, we were ushered through a secretive door and up to the main bar where Fay hosted the most spirited table there. After showing us a trick which involved an entire napkin going up in flames and then reappearing scorch free, we ordered cocktails. Soho House still remains somewhat of a mystery. The bar appeared to be fairly ordinary, like a club house if anything. However, there were a number of doors leading off in various directions which I didn't get a chance to peak through and I bet hid much more interesting places- I heard whispers of a private cinema behind one of them..?

Eventually, Marcus and I excused ourselves and headed home. I'd had the most wonderful night and the best possible start to the weeks of freedom ahead.

Ps- apologies for the lack of pictures and for the number of links. The links for the acts however should point you in the right direction for the performers' showreels which will demonstrate some of what I got to see that evening. Enjoy!

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