Magic and Tea with an Evil Genius

John Henry Blackwood plays the Evil Genius in this show, tucked away in a cosy pub room. He mixes card tricks with conversation and because the venue is small the performance is kept quite intimate.

Blackwood displays great energy for his tricks and proves himself to have an interesting personality.

Blackwood greets his guests in Victorian costume along with his white coated minion, who plays a small role throughout the show. As the Evil Genius, Blackwood himself, is very likeable however he is not a particularly evil character. Rather, he is excitable and chatty; more of a cartoon evil genius than a scary or intimidating one.

His quirky personality is clear and he adds kooky touches to the show such as his pet wooden duck Cecil and his cat Cedric. These played a part in a couple of the tricks and whilst the magic itself was impressive, unfortunately the props would have been better suited to a younger audience. Also, the 'Tea' plays only a small role in the end of the show and seems otherwise to be mainly just for display.

He uses lots of volunteers to back up his credibility and I was impressed with his predictions and persuasions. Unfortunately the show was very busy which made it a little difficult to see some of the tricks because they took place on a small table at the front. In a few cases Blackwood had his volunteers stand up and this was a much more effective arrangement.

Blackwood divides his tricks with anecdotes and conversation, keeping the show very casual. Whilst this is often amusing, it often doesn't entirely relate to the magic and as a result he was a little slow to progress from trick to trick. Blackwood himself said that there wasn't enough time to do every trick and by cutting the embellishing conversation and anecdotes slightly I believe it would have been possible to complete the full show

Blackwood displays great energy for his tricks and proves himself to have an interesting personality. However because the show was slow to progress sadly the magic was cut short. The tricks he did were none the less effective and without flaws. It is a shame that this show is restricted to eighteen years of age and above because I believe children would definitely enjoy Blackwood's enthusiasm.

Reviews by Kayleigh Blair

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Performances

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The Blurb

Close-up card magic, an evil genius and tea; sounds like an excellent way to spend an hour. John Henry Blackwood returns with more tall tales, anecdotes and magic, but this time there’s a sting in the tail. He’s gone a bit mental. A gentlemen card magician with an evil twist. Mr Blackwood will entertain your desire for wonder and amazement, but with an undertone of mischief and mayhem.

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