Mad Magic: The Kids Are Alright ...
Designing something that seems easy, but isn't ...
POSTED BY DAVID PIBWORTH ON 23/02/2016 @ 8:00AM
Since the Mad Magic website took off, I've been asked many times to do children's magic shows, which is normally something I've avoided through lack of time ...
Kids like colour and action so card tricks are out during my Mad Magic shows.
copyright: fergregory / 123rf stock photo
I do teach magic to youngsters at schools, but I don't really do a show as such, I explain the basics to them, and the objective there is to get them to think 'out of the box' and inspire them to be creative.
"An entertainment show is
something quite different"
I think that if you are going to entertain children through magic, you need to think seriously about what you perform, so this weekend I did just that.
I try out all my magic on my 10-year-old daughter and take her comments seriously. Ok, she understands magic more than most 10-year-olds because she's been brought up with it, but that helps in some ways as she sees it from both sides.
So the first thing is that they do like objects to disappear and reappear somewhere else immediately. Now this is relatively easy with playing cards but youngsters aren't as keen on playing cards as adults.
They are too small to grab their attention, so you need something more visual. Something they can relate to, so part of the act will be a silk disappearing and reappearing in the most unlikely place. I've done a video of the work in progress with the silk and here it is:
There's a lot of other magic you can add in, but colour and action are all important. The other thing is not to underestimate their intelligence. I always talk to them as if they're adults.
"You get far more from them that way."
I always did that. Even when my daughter was in a carry cot, I used to go up to her and say "Good morning Esther, and how are you on this fabulous day" and tell her little jokes and snippets of information. She would grin and gurgle and listen far more than if I'd have gone up saying "Oooooh, who's a clever little girl ... oooooh, does she like her rattle ... ooooh".
That's my view anyway, and it seems to hold up quite well, and I'm hoping that when I'm infirm and gurgling in the 'Newport Pagnell State Home for the Bewildered' she will remember me fondly.
Anyway, there we have it. The Children's Show is coming along well and once I've perfected it, it'll be on the market and I'll be taking bookings ... so watch this space.
Until next time ...
More about David Pibworth ...
David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions who provides entertainment for theatre and corporate events. This ties in very well with The Arches Theatre, an outside venue that David owns underneath a disused railway line, equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. This was one of the few venues that could operate with social distancing in place during the summer of 2020 and where they ran everything from Shakespeare to Richard Digance through the summer months.
David has been involved in light entertainment for many years, even going back as far as working on a production with Norman Wisdom in London. He has a knack of keeping in touch with everyone he's worked with and would bring such people as Chas and Dave, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk round to play locally when the chance arose.
His company also represent the stage rights for Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the writers of Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour. He has recently negotiated permission with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to produce Porridge on stage although this is all hampered by the current situation and the availability of theatres.
Next year, at the Arches Theatre, he will produce Ripping Yarns, written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. This will be an interesting production as not only does one episode involve playing a football match, but also with the agreement of Michael Palin and the wife of the late Terry Jones, it has been decided that all the profits on this production will go to a dementia charity as Terry Jones died as a result of dementia, as did David's father and uncle.