I wanted to get a ticket for this, but unfortunately was unsuccessful.
However, Friend Of The Bar Geek Comedian Tom Scott managed to sneak in and send us a report which I thought I would put up as an unspoiler-iffic preview:
– There really was no camera trickery – not even any pick-up shots of the magic tricks, save for one (and that was after the reveal, not during the trick itself).
– No female magicians at all, save for a couple of glamorous assistants. I tried searching for “female British magicians” on Google, and it asked me if I meant “female British musicians”. Damn. A few of them do exist, but apparently none of them made the cut for the show.
– One trick stalled half way through due to technical problems – a sound issue, apparently – and couldn’t be repeated; it won’t be in the final show. Now, I could have sworn that Jonathan Ross said ‘nine magicians’ in his introductory spiel, and that wasn’t reshot after they dropped to eight. It’ll be interesting to see how they edit round that. (Flawlessly, no doubt.)
– The recording was long. The setup for some of the bigger tricks took a while! Stuart Goldsmith did an excellent job as the warm-up guy, though – although I was vaguely disappointed that, when he asked a child in the audience “what’s the rudest word you know?”, the answer wasn’t “kettle-head”.
And a review? At 90 minutes it’ll be a bit of a stretch, but if the BBC thinks there’s an audience for an hour of magic a week with ‘The Magicians’, ITV can certainly pull of a one-off 90 minute special – particularly with Penn and Teller’s own tricks in there as well.
Oh, and if there’s a shot of me dropping my jaw in astonishment during one of the close-up tricks, that’s real as well; I didn’t notice the camera until it moved away and I realised how wide open my mouth was…
So there we go, quite looking forward to this. Cheers, Tom