Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception

Mandy Davis - Diva of Deception - is a professional close up magician working for banquets, dinners, receptions, weddings, bar/batmitzvahs, private parties etc. A member of The Inner Magic Circle, she serves on their ruling Council and currently holds several posts. . Mandy is also a member of Equity and twice honoured with the Society of American Magicians' Presidential Citation.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Working on a river boat in June sounds idyllicI - until I looked at the problems of getting to the pier in the first place. I've worked on boats often enough before; you get onto the craft along the embankment as the day's commuters are rushing home and you spend a couple of hours performing miracles to an audience who eventually want to watch you after the lure of the passing riverbank wears off.

This time the gig, for a group of carers during 'Carers' week', was starting at 11 a.m. (and you know how much I don't do mornings!). It was also kicking off at Greenwich Pier which is a very long way from our house - and on the other side of the river too.

Sat. Nav. would carry me through; but when I checked out the route a couple of times via the AA it appeared that, whether I went on motorways or not, I was going to hit the Blackwall Tunnel during rush hour. The estimated journey time was an hour so I reckoned on allowinig three.

Rob then discovered a smarter way to get there and my plans were finalised: still allow three hours but now I'd leave home at 8, allow an hour to an hour and a quarter for travel to Euston - a journey normally of 30/40 minutes. Park at the Ibis Hotel, get a cab to the Savoy Pier and catch a commuter boat at 9.55 to Greenwhich. It sounded so restful and easy....

Yeah, right!

I don't know how people manage to get to work every day by 9.30. I left home at 8, in spite of the alarm not working, yet I arrived in Euston at 9.45!

So I'd missed the boat! On top of that the Ibis car park was full so I left my car at the station park instead and went to the cab rank. There is no exaggeration in saying that the queue held around 200 people - it snaked along a corridor, up some stairs and into the station concourse where it continued for some length. No chance there, then....

I walked out of the station, along to the Ibis, up Drummond Street to the main road and eventually found a cab which was willing to stop. The journey cost me £30 - but we were there by 10.40.

To add insult to injury - the coach of carers was 40 minutes late!

All's well that ends well....

Err - not quite....

The boat was crewed by some friendly young Australians. When they heard about my taxi dash across London they told me the boat was kept at the Embankment so they could give me a lift back and save me the fare from Greenwich - wasn't that nice? -ish...

Once the party was over and the boat was empty, I had a wonderful time sitting by an open door watching the views as we motored down the river. Whenever I'd been on a London boat in the past I'd always worked so this time I really enjoyed the glory of the riverbank and the wonder of the architecture we passed on the way.

We were in the middle of the river when one of the guys said: 'Oh, by the way we anchor here as we can't get any nearer to the pier but we'll take you in on the work boat.' Eh? What?

Two other men came on board from the side of a large and rusty craft and everyone rushed around, tying up ropes here and there. Then a bathtub toy came alongside and a flimsy and very grubby life support was thrown at me to be worn over my smart, if somewhat crumpled, outfit.

Now I'm not built for leaping - but leaping is what I had to do! First I had to leap down into the little motor thingy to be driven from the front of the cruiser to the back (or was it the other way round) and then - I had to leap (?) up to an opening high above me to access another pleasure cruiser which was moored alongside yet another. I know the 'captain' was surprised I was still there when he anchored the original one - I am certain as I can be that I gave him no end of headache as he valiantly worked and worked until he wedged the side of the little boat as high up as he could against the side of the big one so that the height between the two was narrowed.

And then I had to leap, first onto the slippery side of the smaller one and finally up (with a skinny young man pulling on my arms) into the other.

A brief walk across the decks of two cruisers and I finally reached dry land - 'Turn right and the station is just across the road' I was advised by the grinning crew who'd found me most entertaining, in a very different way from the norm.

Underground? Train? After all that? No way -



Anonymous James the Magician said...

I'll LOVE to have seen that! Hilarious! Well done Mandy!

10:37 am  

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