Name This Magic Show is a competition between close-up magicians. The audience votes for their favorite act, and the winner gets to keep the money from that show.
Before the show begins, the four magicians draw straws. The performer who draws the shortest one must act as the MC for the night, and therefore doesn’t compete. Jon Armstrong was our bitter host for the evening and the three acts were performed by Nick Paul, Joe Skilton (replacing Australian magician Simon Coronel), and Handsome Jack (who was the reigning champ).
Silent magician Nick Paul began his 12-minute set with a classic red scarf into an egg routine. His sleight of hand is dexterous, but he struggled to “wow” the audience in the short amount of time. Next up was Joe Skilton, whose rope routine was some of the best sleight of hand I’ve seen up close. Skilton’s patter with the audience was naturally charming as he explained his tricks (while simultaneously manipulating us). The third and final act was Handsome Jack, whose pervy lady-chaser persona became a bit grating over time. He explained that the magicians pull a straw to see who has to do a “classic” routine for the evening. Thus, he performed the chinese rings. It’s clear this wasn’t exciting for him, though he performed the routine well enough. His final gag, however, fell flat. Our winner for the show was Joe Skilton.
If you’re new to magic, this is a great opportunity to see a variety of styles and acts in a fun and interactive event. That being said, I personally prefer more cohesive shows which allow the magician(s) to take their time and build a rapport with the audience and offer more nuanced illusions.