The Vampire Club

Report of Meeting on May 28th.

Successful is much too modest a word to describe the May meeting of the Vampire Club—it was amazing.

Despite an evening of torrential rain I should think we had a record attendance. MAX took a rough count from which it would appear that we had achieved a century including one cat. The cat was unab!e to produce a membership card so that owing to the risk of exposure he was requested to leave.

MAX gave a welcome to all, said that there would be no speeches or lectures and that we should just sit back and take what was coming. I don't think there can be any question as to the quality of the show we were privileged to enjoy.

Claud Manley, our cabaret organiser, excelled himself by putting on the finest show yet. Even if we had paid to see it, it would have been worth twice the money—that's how good it was. All taking an active part seemed determined on an extra effort.

Tom Savage, our pianist, gave a wonderful rendering of BALAKIREV'S FANTAISIE ORIENTALE "ISLAMEY". This he told me is, with one exception, the most difficult work ever written for pianoforte.

Claud Man ley then took over in order to present his cabaret and yours truly began making copious notes with object of telling you


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who makes no less than 19 changes of exclusive evening gowns in 14 minutes. This act is now a huge and undoubted success, always working, billed at the best theatres, with only five weeks out fast year and fully booked until July, when the "Wonder Bar" joins the "Ted Ray Show" for Tom Arno'd, at Yarmouth.

All the above may read as if life had been easy going, but at the beginning things were very hard and sometimes when clouds looked very black, Milton says that he might have given up more than once, had it not been for the hard work Millicent put in on his behalf, and what little success (Milton says) he has achieved is due in no small measure to the encouragement and faith put in him by Millicent Cooper.

ail that happened, what a hope, I should want the whole issue of Magic Magazine to sing the praises of the many artistes who obliged us with free entertainment of a very high order.

Talking of singing there always seems to be a predominant note running through our shows which, on this occasion was humour. It was an evening of hearty laughter.

Al Wood opened and went straight in to bat as a comedian having considerable trouble with a table that refused to behave as the steady stable type that Max Andrews sells but was always in a state of collapse. He gave us, amongst others a Jumbo Vanishing Ace and an amusing sucker presentation of the transposing of black and white rabbits. He proved himself a comedian, as all comedians do, by finishing with a song.

Jackson Bonnor followed with an act backed by good humorous patter and presented with great charm. The highlights I thought were Card To Balloon with the balloon personifying the mythical "Harvey" and a suitable background story. A good use of standard props, was made by the vanish in the Egg Bag of a white silk and skein of wool which duly re-appeared in a Chost Tube with the wool stitched on silk to spell out the title of a freely selected song.

Morelle gave a really first rate display of card production, card fanning and our old friend the "Diminishing Cards". In the main a polished and serious presentation but even Morelle sensed the humorous note of the proceedings and managed to get a dead mouse mixed up with cards to pocket.

Bobby Bernard returned with a bang to the funny stuff putting over some wonderful new stories between tricks. He also gave us the disappearing ace, following on at once with a humorous repeat of the process.

There is a Chinese Prayer Stick (Max sells it I believe). Bobby Bernard used it as a fishing rod and his own line of patter. A good example, I thought, of how a trick can be presented in ever changing mood by departing from the dealer's script. He also gave a good cut rope item and an amusing world tour with the use of a production box styled as a radio set.

The time has now come for me to pause for a half pint as we did on the night in question. After the break we called upon Charlie Edwards—can I refer to him as that grand old timer?—who in his quiet way gets laughs all along the line. He called upon a lady assistant and proceeded to bewilder her with a galaxy of knots, tying and untying at his command. Metaphorically he had the dear lady in knots. His story of the executioner's knot of 13 half hitches was a joy to listen to. Charlie then went into a card act and finished by trying to drive us a[l mad with the story of what happened to a family who bought one of those changing books and no one really knew what it did contain.

Tish Godfrey followed and I straight away offer him an apology of stating here and now that I shall make no attempt to describe his act in detail. You all know the stuff— trouble with the magic candle—trouble with everything. Is there anyone who can get away with a faulty piece of apparatus in the middle of a trick as he does? Whether these things really do break down or the troubles are all part of the show we shall never know.

Eddie Joseph came next and so once again I ask to be excused a detailed account. It is impossible to convey in words an impressive description of this wonderful artiste when working with cards, coins, balls, corks and etc. May I just say that he is a master of cool calculated misdirection.

Ken LittHewood decided it was time we had a silent spell and whilst he was silent the audience were in fits of laughter. Ken was attired in the full splendour of white tie and tails and appeared to have wined and dined extremely well. He must have dined on table tennis balls for these were regurgitated at frequent intervals during his act. He swayed his way through a series of perfectly timed sleights with canes, pipes, thimbles, balls Ore. His expressions of intoxicated bewilderment at the mysterious things that were happening were a joy to watch.

Len Wallace concluded the cabaret with the act which I am toid gained him the gold medal of the L.S.M. so it goes without saying that we finished in grand style . I think the high spots were his perfect presentation of the "Candle, Tube and Silk", the "Spirit Slates" and "Linking Rings".

Thus ended another successful season and one of our most enjoyable evenings as Max wished all happy holidays or heavy summer bookings as the case maybe.

Your faithful scribe augments those wishes and goes into hiding until the autumn

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