If executed well, magic is one of the most impressive skills to both have and witness. Everyone loves a bit of magic, and science has the reason why!
People are attracted to things we can’t explain logically. This dates back to when we were a few months old, being endlessly entertained by the game ‘peek-a-boo’. The excitement of something appearing and disappearing in front of our eyes introduced us to the concept of ‘magic’ at such an early age. Our human brain has evolved to make sense of the world around us in order to survive, and when we can’t generate an explanation for something – we get a thrill.
Luckily for all you London folk, there is an incredible magic show in the West End, ready to give you that thrill, situated a 5 minute walk from Green Park station. I was invited down to The Grand Sheraton Hotel in Park Lane to review The Magic Hour, put on by resident magician Tony Middleton aka ‘Sonic’, as seen on ITV’s Penn & Teller.
I was particularly excited to see this performance due to its 5 star reviews, sell out shows, and the fact it was named in the top 10 attractions in London (TripAdvisor), receiving the Certificate of Excellence for several years running.
The sophisticated venue of the Grand Sheraton is the perfect home for an evening of talent and class. Before the doors opened, I ordered a drink from the cocktail bar at the lobby, and staying true to the evening, I opted for the ‘magic potion’ cocktail which changes colour when you pour in the secret ingredient!
The setting is very intimate with only four rows of seats, and a maximum audience of around 60. I much preferred this to a huge theatre, where half of your time would be spent watching a screen. This level of intimacy offered the chance to scrutinize Tony’s every move and feel a larger part of the show. Adding to the personable nature of The Magic Hour, was the level of interactivity with the audience. Many people were called upon to choose numbers, songs, photographs etc, which helped create a really fun and engaging show. The only improvement I can suggest to make the experience better would be to have tiered seating or a raised stage. Despite only having two rows in front of me, I still found myself moving around to make sure I didn’t miss anything. However, those in the back row were allowed to stand up during some of the tricks, so they were able to see.
For obvious reasons, I can’t give too much away in regards to the performance, but there was one trick that blew my mind that I need to talk about!
As if blowing on an engagement ring and making it disappear wasn’t impressive enough, he then opened a flask which had an orange inside it (which by the way had been transported across the stage, but don’t even get me started on that.) He cut open the orange and inside was………. a walnut. To prove he didn’t have the ring in his hand and wasn’t sliding it in to the fruit, he asked the owner of the ring to crack open the walnut herself…..AND HER RING WAS INSIDE!!!! HOW??????
I’ve come to two possible conclusions:
- He has Bernard’s watch (remember that show?) and moved these things as we were all frozen in time
- He is an alien.
His other tricks were equally impressive and included a variety of super cool card tricks, mind reading, floating objects, and sleight of hand.
In addition to him being an incredibly talented magician, he was also really funny, and kept the audience engaged throughout with his infectious personality.
What made this show stand out, is that it wasn’t just filled with random tricks. Everything followed on from each other and was part of a story that Tony kept referring back to throughout his performance.
I would highly recommend this as a unique thing to do on an evening. Aside from ‘The Magic Hour’, they also offer a second show held at The Savoy called “Sleight of Hand on the Strand” which involves both Tony and another magician ‘Dominick Zwolinski’, so I will definitely be popping along to that one!
Book an evening at one of their shows here: The Magic Hour Show