That’s magic: Tricks dazzle audience at Ilford society competition

Winner Dave Kay

Winner Dave Kay - Credit: Archant

There was magic in the air in Goodmayes last week when the finest magicians in the land dazzled with their best tricks at a club competition.

Winner Dave Kay

Winner Dave Kay - Credit: Archant

Recorder reporter Lizzie Dearden was a lay judge for Ilford Magical Society's annual close-up contest held at the Parkside Community Centre, Goodmayes Lane.

Seven experienced sorcerers brought their cards, coins, ropes and even bank notes to the table to compete for the title.

The invited audience gasped in amazement at the best flourishes, which included some spooky predictions.

Opening act Tommy Dearsley let a volunteer pick random playing cards with film star names written on the back.

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After the unlikely duo of Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin appeared, he revealed a pre-printed poster showing two stars and their cards.

Kevin Bird, who came second, even worked the Ilford Recorder into his act, showing a page 44 listing predicting the card picked by an audience member.

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But everything did not go to plan for some performers - one was caught out using fake bank notes and another, after impressively appearing to hold fire in his hand, set the fire alarm off.

For some, magical mistakes were all part of the fun.

Winner Dave Kay duped the audience into thinking he had "found" the wrong card in a pack, before making it disappear, reappear, rip up and re-form and switch with the card picked by a volunteer.

He also made coins mysteriously "move" around under cards.

Society president Bryan Porter, whose own act included a magical box made of wood "from a haunted house", said the standard was always very high at club competitions.

There are around 40 members in the club, including seven who are in the Magic Circle. But performers have day jobs, including a police detective. Bryan started doing tricks when he was a young boy and has followed his fascination with magic ever since.

He said: "It catches the imagination and there's an element of mystery about it that has an appeal.

"To start with it takes a lot of practice but it gets easier and easier. We're all in it to entertain people and get enjoyment out of that.

"I don't believe in the black arts or anything like that, but to me, when I see people performing - that's magic."

The Ilford Magical Society performs at stage and cabaret shows and does charity events across London and Essex.

The group, which was founded in 1938 as the The Society of Eastern Magicians, is open to new members of all abilities.

- Visit for information.

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