The Magic Hour is an evening show of close up conjuring and prestidigitation in the style of the Victorian masters. That’s what is says on the show programme, and is essentially what you get. Except it’s not an hour. It’s about 1hour and 45 minutes, which makes it even better than what you might have been originally expecting. The man taking you on the journey into the magic shows of the 1800’s is Tony Middleton, known better as Sonic, due to his electric spiky hairstyle. Sir Roger Moore claims he is one of the finest magicians he has ever seen… and if he’s good enough for Bond, he’s good enough for me!
The bar area is intimate, and is where you are served a welcome cocktail - a gin and cranberry concoction with a popping candy rim that leaves you licking the glass for your own entertainment… you look mad, but who can deny the enjoyment popping candy provides!?
The show takes place in a drawing room of a beautiful hotel in Queens Way. It’s opulent, it’s beautiful, it’s old and grand. It’s the perfect setting for an evening of mind blowing trickery. Chairs are sat across the room, with a few rows available. Sitting on the edges is advised so you can see every movement of Sonic’s hands… though I promise you could be stood directly in-front of him and still not work out how he does it!
Statistics show that you are likely to be one of two types of people when it comes to magic shows. Either the person who is willing to open their mind and be taken on a journey of bewilderment and magic, or the person who is going to be sceptic and spend the entire show trying to work out how he does it. I am the latter, and that is exactly what I planned to do as I sat down in my seat. Magic isn’t real, afterall. Or is it?
Well no, it isn’t. But that isn’t to say that this show won’t blow your mind. Sonic recreates some of the classic tricks, from Ancient Allusion to Victorian Deception. The beginnings of street entertainers deceiving their audience with simple ball and cup tricks that can be traced back to the streets of Cairo, through to Spiritual Magic and Witchcraft. It’s a magical history lesson as well as a performance - you leave knowing just that little bit more, but at the same time, knowing less than when you arrived. If that’s not a skill, I don’t know what is!
Sonic engages with his audience, asking for people to assist him with his tricks, at the same time requiring them to place their utmost trust in him as her performs with their precious belongings. With an incredible demonstration of skill, he used dexterity of hand with cards, eggs and rope. You don’t take your eyes off his fingers and yet how he does it elludes you entirely.
While Sonic lets you in on a few of his secrets, you can’t help but think there are more layers to this performance than meets the eye. The sceptic within me knows it is just a demonstration of a perfected performance, and yet the logical human that I am just can’t see how one could be so good at something if there wasn’t some kind of magic behind it… even if it’s just a little bit!
Tickets start at £25 and include a cocktail or soft drink. It is a wonderful way to spend an evening, as the show doesn’t end when you leave the venue… rather you will be speculating with your friends and family all evening as to how Sonic was able to create such wonderful and mesmerizing tricks in front of your eyes without you knowing how.