There are lots of things happening: pirates attacking the quay, a slave auction, birds of prey, best dressed pirate competition, walking the plank and much, much more!
For the past two and a half years we’ve been hired by the Tynedale hotel in Llandudno for their twice yearly variety breaks. We always look forward to working there, as the shows are fun and the staff are friendly.
Every venue is different and the Tynedale has a couple of unique features which we’ve had to take into consideration. The room is “L” shaped, which means there are two separate audiences to perform to – we have to be careful to make sure both sides can see what we’re doing and that they are both included in everything, rather than focusing on one side of the room.
The second is a particular challenge for magicians, as you can see from this picture. People quite often say that magicians do everything with mirrors, but having the walls behind you covered with mirrors certainly makes things interesting!
We’ve just had confirmation that we will be performing at this year’s Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza, so now seems a good time to take a look back at the last few years that we’ve been involved with the event.
For those of you that don’t know, every year since 1986, Llandudno has held a three day festival of Victorian delights. Held in the centre of Llandudno, the streets are taken over by entertainers, stalls, rides and costumed characters. Victorian ladies and gentlemen promenade along the seafront; clowns, living statues and jugglers entertain crowds in the streets. And there’s even the occasional Dalek or Stormtrooper to be seen!
Despite living in North Wales all my life, and having a liking for history, 2007 was the first time that I had ever been to the Extravaganza. Jay and I went along, and had a great time, and at some point in the day the conversation turned to “wouldn’t it be great if we could perform here one day”.
Little did we think that the very next year, that was exactly what we would be doing! We had two tables, and a spot on Mostyn Street, and spent three days doing close up magic. It was great fun, but exhausting. We learned the hard way that even though the wind is freezing, you can still get sunburned!
In 2009 we were back with close up magic again, this time on the junction with Lloyd Street. We were right next to the parade route, which meant that we had a great view of all the performers, as well as the vintage cars and steam engines as they went past.
2010 saw us doing our first stage shows at the Extravaganza, at the Fountains Stage. The weather made things a little bit more complicated than we had anticipated, as the wind kept blowing away our props! We adapted and altered routines as we went along. We’re both huge geeks, and couldn’t resist the chance to have our photos taken outside the TARDIS. And yes, we did bring our own sonic screwdriver along especially for the photos. It was rather an interesting three days, as I had just had my appendix out, and I wasn’t feeling very well – which is why I look so pale!
We were back again in 2011, this time on the SeaView Stage on the Promenade. We were fully prepared with windproof tricks, which worked far better than the previous year. No photos though, as we were far too busy to take any!
This year we are returning to performing on the streets. Although the stage shows are fun, with an event like the Victorian Extravaganza it’s all about the hundreds of people on the streets, and interacting with them personally. A lot of people have never seen a magician live, let alone one performing right in front of their eyes, and it’s great to be able to give someone that moment of wonder.
We’re really looking forward to this year’s event and hope to see you there.
We’re well into rehearsals for the Thursday show, and we’ve all been having great fun learning the new routines. I took my camera to this week’s rehearsal, so here’s a sneaky peek at some of the things we’ve been up to:
The shows take place in Llandudno town hall over the summer, and all proceeds go to Happy Faces Children’s Charity. The provisional date for the first show is the 10th of May, and it will run every Thursday until the beginning of October.
Last Tuesday, Jay took part in the annual close up competition of the North Wales Magic Circle, at the Constitutional Club in Prestatyn. There were six competitors, who each had to perform for a maximum of twelve minutes for two sets of audiences.
One of the other magicians filmed part of Jay’s performance and put it online, so we thought we’d share it with you all.
All the performers were did really well, and winner of the competition will be announced at the NWMC’s annual dinner later in the year.