Virtuoso Magician Visits

27th October 2004

Malcolm Russell delighted the children of Lismore Primary School with a virtuoso and hilarious show that had them alternately wide eyed or rolling with laughter but never for a second did he lose their attention. Originally from Canada but now living in Orkney, he described himself as a magician, a physical comic, and object manipulator which hardly paints the picture. Sure he could juggle anything and tell you what card you’d picked and do intriguing things with coins, ping pong balls, jelly beans and the humble rubber band, but it was his constant witty interaction with the audience which was never patronising or exploitative and amused both adults and children. He was also informative: the game of “fast and lose”, he told us, it is mentioned in Shakespeare and is still played by street con artists in order to part you from your money.

Most impressive was his remembering the names of everyone in the room after hearing them once and drinking the glass of water which had been placed on his head as he lay on the floor, without using his hands. This astonishing feat needed a prodigious amount of agility, flexibility and wit. This is a talent which deserves a wide audience and we were lucky Malcolm had pledged to perform on every inhabited island in Scotland. With Lismore at number 67, he hopes to finish the other 35 by Christmas.

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