Report of General Monthly Meeting by Zoom - Tuesday 7th September 2021
magic and magicians - by Ian Buchan
Now you see it, now you don’t The talk on magic and magicians from Ian Buchan in September was a brilliant example of how good and how bad zoom lectures can be. It was a privilege to be able to engage the services of the past president of the Edinburgh Magic Circle for an afternoon of magic demonstrations and biographies of a few of the more famous magicians from his home in Scotland.
Sandwiched between a disappearing card trick, a colour-changing handkerchief trick and a think-of-a-card trick, we were regaled with stories about David Nixon, Tommy Cooper and Paul Daniels. All three of these magicians had combined their sleight of hand skills with their acting expertise into world-class performances for the stage and subsequently for the even more discerning eye of the television camera.
Ian himself hadn’t progressed beyond the ranks of a children’s entertainer, sensibly keeping his day job in the civil service. At one time he also sold twisted balloons from a stall outside the Edinburgh Fringe and he told us about the many famous people who had bought his creations.
At the start of the talk, Ian had asked us all to mute our microphones, only to complain when he got no feedback or applause for his tricks. In response, some members unmuted themselves. This had the annoying consequence that when an unmuted member made a noise, however small, towards the end of a trick, the video diverted to that member and everyone missed the conclusion of that bit of Ian’s dexterity.
A welcome afternoon’s entertainment: definitely one of “now you see it, now you don’t!”