JMA Productions Showcase 2014 – Session 1

JMA Productions Showcase 2014 – Session 1
Westlands Leisure Complex Yeovil
October 13th
Producer John Mills
Reviewer Mark Ritchie
westlandsThis is a great venue for a showcase and armed with a production team covering all bases and as sharp as a tack, it was soon time for this flagship South West England event to get started.
Meet and greet entertainment was covered by Captain Jack Sparrow, inexplicably on stilts and accompanied by a musical zebra. This hospitable and surreal vision was supplied by the team from Adventure and Illusion on the High Seas, who were later to appear on stage during the afternoon session.
Compere and comedian Andy Ford has married and is now living in Hartlepool, but retains his west- country roots and was soon about his business. This winsome and expansive comedian warmed up the afternoon crowd with some well-honed and crafted gags. It was soon the turn of comedy vocal entertainer Garry Dorsey to pick up the baton and continue thawing the afternoon attendees out. Warning us about the physical attributes of Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Dorsey took his opportunity to remind everyone present of his impressive credentials as an all-round entertainer. However, the cosy style probably works better in smaller and more intimate venues.
Providing a topical twist to the field of magic and illusion, The Pirate Illusion show consists of a Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike magician and his pliable assistant. Illusions with fire and sword cabinets followed in what is sure to prove a busy holiday-centre speciality act.
Young suited and booted piano entertainer Will Blake made the most favourable of impressions. Eschewing the backing track option, this handsome ivory tickler gave us rock and roll and boogie-woogie work, whilst singing Elton’s Saturday Night’s Alright. This young man is right and relevant to the needs of such a wide spectrum of venues. Bookers will hardly know where to start when placing young Blake, after this slick and faultless showcase performance.
Comedy speciality entertainer Phil Blackmore is from the new generation of magical performers who are currently taking the art forward into the 21st century. This highly-rated entertainer juggles whilst climbing the rungs of ladders and throws around terrifying looking chain saws. He also performs hilarious and original comedy patter. Phil Blackmore makes for modern speciality entertainment at its very best.
Classique are a two girl duo whose performance opened with a revved-up version of the Whitney Houston hit, So Emotional. Matching stage wear, great harmonies and stage movement, which included apparent knowledge of stage hot-spots, all dove-tailed to make this act a must for so many areas of the market-place.
Closing the opening show out was master illusionist Daniel Dean, whose work I have admired since first seeing him on action back in 2001. Always fresh and interesting, Daniel Dean is surely a market-leader in cruise-ship cabaret style magic and has also helped originate a number of larger scale illusions. The variation on the costume changing chest illusion (which is sometimes performed as the world’s fastest striptease) is always a pleasure to watch when performed by real show people like Dean and his assistant Laya.

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