Raphael Benatar, one of the world’s finest magicians, visited the Island on Friday to deliver a lecture and teach members of the local magic clubs. The event, organised by the Magicians of Mann, was supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council. Paul Martin, chairman of the club, explained “Raphael was born in Venezuela but has lived in Spain for many years. He is renowned as one of magic’s greatest exponents of sleight of hand. His handing of the ‘cups and balls’ trick, which has been performed by magicians for hundreds of years, brings the trick up to date for modern audiences and is brilliant”.
The lecture on Saturday evening at the Columba Club in Douglas was also attended by members of the Young Magicians of Mann, a separate club for aspiring youngsters aged 10 to 18 years. It consisted of card magic for the table as well as for the stage, including original sleights and routines from his working repertoire, including some previously unreleased material. He also taught magic with silk scarves and explained his theoretical approach to magic through his cups and balls routine.
The following morning Mr Benatar held a workshop for interested members. Paul, a member of The Magic Circle in London, said “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be tutored by a living legend of the magic world”, and added “The workshop included invaluable advice on misdirection, timing, wording and practice, which magicians can readily apply to the magic they already do”.
The Young Magicians of Mann are staging shows at Peel Clothworkers’ School on Friday 27th April, Rushen School the following Friday and Cronk y Berry School on 18th May. Tickets cost £4 and are available from the schools. On Friday 14th September the club, founded by Mike Clague in 1987, will be celebrating it’s silver anniversary with a special evening of magic sponsored by SMP Partners at the Gaiety Theatre, in conjunction with the Youth Events Committee.