It’s Magic Up North Review
On Sunday 9th February 2020, I had been kindly invited down to see Chris Cross and Martin Daniels to perform at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House. An evening of comedy and magic rolled into one.
I had been aware of Chris Cross for a while now, seeing events across my Facebook but had never been able to attend before my move up here to Newcastle, so had been excited to see this show. Also to be able to see the son of a magic Legend in Martin Daniels was an appealing factor. (check the surname yes.. Paul Daniels son)
The Tyne Theatre was the venue for this Sunday show and it appears to be where Chris Cross is at home, knowing of previous shows that he has had here. Also just the fact it is a great venue to be able to perform in, must be a draw for any act.
Initially, I was surprised by the older nature of the age group attending and also expected a few more children and to be fair a bigger attendance. However, maybe the wet weather and cold conditions stopped people from venturing out for this one.
In support was Lorraine Crosby. For those that know their music, the name will ring a bell as she was the female voice on Meatloaf’s ‘I’d Do Anything for Love ‘ track that hit number one in more countries than i even know. To hear her voice was fantastic, years on still so powerful. Her energy contagious and for me personally glad she was there to support and a privilege to see live. The set consisted of a few Queen songs, but started and ended with Meatloaf and a slowed down Beatles arrangement which I enjoyed. Again this set appealed to the age range of the audience being of an older age set overall.
Being a fan of Magic and close up magic, in particular, I have spent most of my life watching it from the tv box when able to and so was excited to see some tricks live in front of me. Chris Cross came onto the stage first and introduced himself and the show.
Quite quickly you learn that his comedy is off the cuff and impressive in terms of improvisation. Chris Cross can read a room quickly and create anecdotes and scenes based on audience members appearance, names or where they lived. This made for some funny moments and also some risque ones too. All made in good humour with no offence behind them the audience may have raised their eyebrows to a few jokes but the recipients and audience alike appeared not to mind. It left me hoping that I wasn’t getting picked out as i sat there by myself in front of the legendary footballer Malcolm Macdonald as i wouldn’t have stood a chance with my London accent.
Down to the Magic and Chris Cross gave a good performance of some classic magic tricks that you may have seen previously, from observing an empty box to then observe his magical assistant jumping out of it in the next turn.
Pouring water into a pan and seeing it magically disappear? Where did it go – I have no idea? His humour again came into play when playing Find The Queen which looked an odds on bet to win until he turned it into a picture of a bottle of brown ale.
Turning a signed twenty-pound note from Dave who kindly gifted it to Chris into a note with the words Magic on and then making his actual note appear into a wallet that had been in his jacket all the time. Again unexplainable. When you have good humour and a volunteer that isn’t shy to get up and go with the flow always makes for some laughs.
His finale and maybe the signature move was his escapology scene, one of which we would witness Chris Cross be tied up and secured into a straight jacket and escape in a personal best time of 1 minute 30 seconds. This trick not so much magic as he admits that he has to dislocate both shoulders and move three ribs to be able to do this! But did he manage to get out in time…of course, he did. Impressive none the less.
Next up was the main act Martin Daniels, now seemingly as a fan of magic, I wasn’t aware that Paul Daniels had a son that also performed in showbiz. Being the son of a magic legend though, obviously magic was a nice skill to pass on. However, Martin Daniels was here in his own right.
Skilled rather than a piece of magic Martin swung a plastic cup of coke balanced on a snooker triangle up and around his head for around three to five minutes constantly whilst conversing and telling jokes with ease got my attention as this was a skill in itself, i can barely balance myself standing up!
Martin was more of a storytelling Magician, also using comedy to enhance and engage with the audience, like Chris Cross as times could be risque in humour but got away with it. Engaging with a lady at the front of the audience from Jesmond he took her ring and with the participation of two audience members managed to get them to make it disappear, only to move onto another trick but she did get it back with his finale by again finding it in a closed box that was at the back of the stage all along.
A trio again volunteered to come upon the stage and help Martin with another trick – encouraging talk and humour, just like Chris Cross his improvisation was great. Taking professions and being able to make jokes within seconds, especially with the guy that worked as a benefits assessor. In this trick, we got this trio almost singing and milking one of them from his head through to his ear…Magic!
This was an enjoyable evening of magic from two entertaining magicians and even witnessing it closer than i have before still cannot see how they do it. The support and humour throughout suited and lent itself to an older audience on this occasion. But magic is magic and I am still in awe of how these tricks work. I will look to see Chris Cross again in future and encourage you to bring the children to see him. This is entertainment and beats playing on a PlayStation for hours on end. Let your family members be in awe and amazed by Magic.
Thanks for reading my review of It’s Magic Up North.
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