As the children poured into the Civic Centre Auditorium the excitement was palpable, clearly there were some high expectations for this show. Geoffrey arrived with great fanfare and introduced his book “Phyllis Wong and the Forgotten Secrets of Mr Okyto”. He told the story of Phyllis Wong’s great grandfather who disappeared in 1936 in a magic trick gone wrong.
Geoffrey read an excerpt from his book, during which every child gave 100% of their attention to Geoffrey. I bet some of the teachers were wondering what magic he used to keep their attention captive. I also bet that the bookshop will sell all the copies of this book and it will keep kids up reading way past their bedtime in the next week or two. Geoffrey gave a lively and dramatic reading, doing very well with each of his character’s voices.
A young volunteer was called and Sue-Anne Webster appeared on stage. She absolutely wowed the crowd with her linking rings trick, how she did it is beyond me. Seriously, the woman is phenomenal.
Sue-Anne asked for another volunteer and every child threw their arms into the air. And, ummm, maybe I did too. She pulled a crafty card trick that was featured in the book. As the young volunteer walked back to his seat, I heard him comment, “this is madness!” Knowing young people’s lingo, that is a huge compliment.
Next there was a problem with a runaway table, I think I will be sleepless tonight with wonder, trying to figure this one out.
The call for volunteers went out again and everyone nearly jumped out of their seats. A young student was called to the stage and dressed up like a magician. Another trick from the book was performed, yet another one that had everyone scratching their heads. Really, these magic folk are a confusing bunch.
Another volunteer was called to perform a magic trick with Sue-Anne’s help. I have never seen a happier student.
Geoffrey returned to the stage and gave some of his imagination to Sue-Anne. I’ll tell you something, I think it is pretty amazing how much Geoffrey’s imagination flew around. I mean it, his imagination flew around like it was a ball. I wish I could have caught it and mixed it with mine.
I’m going to have to try and see these two again during the Festival. I have a lot of unanswered questions, and the show was so enjoyable that it may better the second time.