Christmas Magic

at* the Fortune Theatre, London.

Murray, the famous Australian Escapologist and Illusionist takes pride of place at this year's West End Magic Show for children. It is an intimate show, as indeed any show is bound to be in one of the smallest of London's Theatres. The presentation of all the acts was slick and nicely timed, so that the whole ran with continuity and pleasant entertainment.

Murray himself opened the bill, with a silent presentation of a number of tricks, worked alternatively with two girl assistants. A production of a Rabbit, The Vanishing Clock on Tray, Production of Bouquets from a Foulard, Giant Full stage production of Bouquets; Botanias with a tremendous growth of flowers as a centre piece. Then came the Mutilated Parasol, Castle of Cards, several silk effects, Production of Aquarium from tube, the Flying Gramophone Record, and finally "The Dizzy Limit."

Charles Cole, the eminent Stage Cartoonist, then appeared, and his lightning cartoons of well known Children's Cartoon Film characters were fascinating to watch. Then he called for christian names of boys and girls, and rapidly turned them into faces by using the letters as features of the face. Next he sketched from life a boy on the stage, and finally presented a Cartoon Portrait of the Queen.

Edna Taylor the charming Lady Ven-triioquist, scored heavily with her act. There were two dummies, one a boy who stood by her side, and the other a very small girl, who was very coy. Their crosstalk was very entertaining and the end came with a singing finale.

Maskar, presented by Murray, then appeared ready dressed, (or rather undressed— he wore a bathing costume) to make his Sensational Water Escape. A full size metal milk churn s"ands in a wooden trough, and behind it a square velvet curtain screen. A committee of children were invited on to the stage to examine everything. Maskar then climbed into the churn, and as he went in, so the water rose to the top edge. On the final command from Murray, he ducked down and the water closed over his head, the lid was slammed on and the children helped to fasten padlocks on all round. The trolly with churn and trough on was then pushed into a large iron cage inside the screen, which had been previously examined and tested by the youngsters. This in turn was padlocked, and the curtains drawn in front. It seemed an eternity before Maskar finally appeared . . dripping wet . . . breathless, but safe and sound, and he stood and shook hands with each of the children as they left the stage. What a thrill they must have had !

Kranton the Musical Clown followed, with a comedy Zylophone Act, in which the unpredictable happened, Snakes and sausages jumped out, squirts of powder, loose notes, etc., etc., provided laughter gags appreciated by the audience.

Stanley Watson followed with his usual immaculate and delightful Music Hall act, assisted by Diane, The Stick to Silks, Production of Flowers, Multiplying Lighted Candles, Billiard Bails, and Cards to Pocket presen ed with a boy from the audience. The way he handles his assistants is always a lesson in magic, and this time was no exception. He finished with his own presentation of the Lighted Bulbs from Mouth, wherein a stand is fitted with a lighting arrangement which is similar to the electric signs one sees at Piccadilly Circus. A rocket shoots up, bursts into stars that shoot out in each direction. One of these stars is then taken and swallowed. When they have all disappeared, he pulls them all out of his mouth . . strung on a wire . . . all alight.

Windy Blow, a comparatively new act here, proved very popular and everyone held their breath as he blew up dozens of balloons and tied and twisted them into all shapes and sizes of various animals. His clown make-up, with outsize boots, and grotesque costume,, was certainly unique, and he finished by giving balloon animals away to a crowd of children on the stage. A very good and unusual act.

(Readers are privileged to have a complete explanation of this trick balloon tying in another part of this magazine).

Murray then took the stage again, with his "Trip Round the World in Magic". "Fool U Too" was a substitution illusion, "Magic (Continued on Page 300).

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