Festival S. Joao Bosco took place, in Porto, Portugal from Friday 29th – Sunday 31st January at the premises, complete with its own theatre, that houses Clube Illusionista Fenianos. It was a chance meeting at The Magic Circle, London, between their new President, Miss Andy Peixoto and myself, that led to the moment when I stood on that stage to perform my act for club members and the Porto public for the first time!
We had a varied and exciting weekend! The club provided all lunches and dinners from Friday night onwards – we were very well fed. It was lovely to chat over food and feel comfortable in the bar/clubroom of this special building that houses all kinds of associations from music to magic – and even a gambling group!
The magic club had been floundering but is now getting stronger again thanks to its leaders and this event was proof of this.
The Festival opened with a port wine and biscuits reception before the first wonderful meal. The Friday night gala started at ten with Mago Marco, clown Pezinho, Cardinal, compere/MC Daniel Guedes – and me! Although I had been completely assured that a patter act would work as ‘everyone speaks English here’, I discovered that, in fact, understanding was limited. Thankfully, this was rectified for Saturday with interpreters – just as well because I was giving a talk in the afternoon!
Saturday saw a fine lecture from Magi Curty. There were also the close up and stage competitions. Neither was heavily supported by contestants but I was able to enjoy a fascinating act based on a stage full of brightly coloured pottery roosters which are the mascots of Porto. The final trick of this act had a board on which the outline of a rooster was drawn. A volunteer had to colour in the parts of this in his own choice of colours – which happened to match a large pottery model which had been on stage, under a draped silk, throughout the act.
There was a very relaxed Close Up show after lunch. Three performers – Cardinal, Rovit and Peter Sjostedt – gave us some excellent magic led, once again, by compere/MC Daniel Guedes.
Daniel very kindly agreed to translate for me as the show was followed by ‘British Afternoon Tea with Mandy Davis’. I showed a short promotional film about The Magic Circle and spoke for about fifteen minutes on the wonders of being a Member, the fabulous building we own and how one can join and benefit, even living away from London.
Another tasty supper followed and then the second gala show with completely different performers from the previous night – apart from me! This time, though, the amazing Leandro Morgado, who speaks perfect English, was able to compere/MC and translate my act which opened the show and was certainly appreciated this time!
The other acts were Magi Curty, who will be appearing at Blackpool, Mr Balloon and Salguery all of whom were excellent.
Sunday began with a lecture from Peter Sjostedt who gave us some very effective mentalism ideas which he has used in business situations. I particularly liked his business card drawing mindreading and also the divining of an object held by one of four people. There was a lot of fun with his effects and the methods were very devious.
The closing ceremony was a surprise as it involved plaques and certificates being presented to all who had performed during the weekend – including me! I am very proud to display them in my home now. Then it was on to the closing lunch, a very nicely presented meal of three courses plus a beautiful cake, baked and iced by Miguel Ball Penreira Saraiva.
After the lunch was eaten, the cake demolished and the port wine supped in the bar – the Festival ended for 2016! Thank you Miss Andy for inviting me to Porto – I had a wonderful time!
Mandy Davis MIMC