Magic at York Museum

magic at york museum for the mayor
York Museum

I was approached by Blandine, the European Affairs Manager for Benenden in early May to perform at a Corporate Event they were planning.

Benenden provide affordable private health care. They started their existence in 1905 to help postal workers suffering from Tuberculosis. They now have a membership nearing 900,000.

The corporate event included representatives from all over the world, and for many of them, English was not their first language. This can cause problems for any performer but my act is very visual, so whether or not you understand the language fully, it’s clear for everyone to follow.

The Venue

Blandline booked the York Museum and the Lord Mayor Cllr Sonja Crisp was in attendance. In fact, this was to be her last engagement before leaving office.

The York Castle Museum was founded by Dr John Kirk, a doctor from Pickering, North Yorkshire, and houses his extraordinary collection of social history, reflecting everyday life in the county.

One of its renowned displays is the reconstructed street, Kirkgate, that has been hugely influential in museum displays worldwide. The York Castle Museum is housed in a former debtor’s prison and an adjoining former women’s prison, both of which are Grade I listed. The museum’s name comes from the fact it stands on the site of the former York Castle.

Client Negotiations / Requests

This was to be a very full evening, so we agreed that I would only perform for one hour and ten minutes, each of the five tables, followed by a short cabaret spot.

Following close up magic with cabaret can work very well, especially for small groups if it is done early enough in the evening.

The fact that some guests English might not be fluent was not really an issue. Magic is a visual art that can be performed with a minimum of direct communication. In fact, when performing in noisy venues, I will if necessary do it completely silent. As with any good entertainer, I will adapt to the situation and perform as required for the benefit of the audience.

Travelling to the event

York is about three hours from my home. People are often surprised that Magicians will travel so far from home, but I work throughout the whole UK and accept that driving is part of the job.

The traffic was good and I arrived in York with plenty of time to spare. I even went into York Theatre Royal. Michael Pennington was performing in King Lear that night. I also saw that Jamie Raven’s new show will be playing there later in the year.

Details of the Event

Events at the Museum are well supported by management staff and catering. I was made to feel very at home by the event management team. The performance took part in the heart of the museum.

The Lord Mayor gave an excellent speech before I started. Apparently York is the one city which the Queen is required to ask before she can enter. I also found out that the Lord Mayor of York would be the next in line to the throne, IF (in the extremely unlikely event) the whole Royal Family were somehow deceased.

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