A Magical Night at the Corn Hall

The last time I can recall magic coming to Diss was Morgan and West, and that was in Garboldisham before the refurbished Corn Hall reopened. There is clearly an appetite for it though, as the Corn Hall was full to bursting with enthusiasts of all ages, keen to experience the unique charm of a live magic show. I got the impression that when on home turf in London, The West End Magic show is a showcase for an ever-changing roll call of variety acts. Presumably impractical with a touring iteration, the evening was largely limited to two performers, representing magic from the extremes of the spectrum.

Wayne Trice was very much the joker of the pack, his self-deprecating line of patter an effective distraction from his nimble fingers getting up to tricks. Particularly keen to engage with the youngsters, he was happy to verbally joust with the boisterous children in the audience, as well as delivering a heart-felt message that they should follow their dreams. Not that he was above some straight forward silliness, tying himself in knots in homage to Houdini. My only misgiving concerned a brief interlude when the stage manager demonstrated his skill with a Rubik cube, but I think we can forgive one blip in an otherwise entertaining, old fashioned night of whimsy.

In sharp contrast, Oliver Tabor was the very essence of old school elegance. His execution of classic tricks – a floating sphere, a tilting table, a restless handkerchief, a materialised dove – may not have been anything startlingly new, but there were palpable gasps at seeing these tricks live, in a way a television performance can’t hope to capture. His final trick, which it would be wrong to reveal, was a true show stopper, not least as someone was going to have to clear up afterwards.