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.

Monday, August 13, 2007


It was my birthday on Saturday and I meant to blog then but in the end just didn't find the time or energy!

As you can see I have a new helper when it comes to writing my blog - courtesy of Brian and David. This bear comes from Amsterdam (noted by the windmills and dutch people printed all over him). His name is Nees (well, Hans was so obvious but when we go back we hope to add Boomsa to keep him company)! Nees is probably going to be a bit of a traveller so you may see him pop up all over the place.. anyway back to the birthday outing:

We had an unusual day out - on Thursday evening we learned about Dickens World in Kent, a theme park devoted to Charles Dickens. As a big fan it was the obvious place to go....

The real disappointment was the fact that it was all indoors; we were geared up for a fun filled day in the sun, sun hats and tanning creams at the ready.... instead we found ourselves in the bowels (actually it wasn't as we went upstairs) of the gloomy streets and alleyways of Victorian London with the odd wench in long skirt and apron wandering by.
At first glance there didn't seem to be a lot to do but, in fact, we filled three hours and didn't even have to resort to a visit to Fagin's Kitchen which housed an up to date ball pond and climbing frame, focussing on the under tens. It transpired that most of the attractions were hidden down the alleyways between the houses - well they would be wouldn't they?

First stop was the theatre, following a brief but extremely good snack in the upstairs bar/restaurant - a cut above the expected fast food outlet.
The show was exceptional and by far the best attraction featuring animatronics combined with human figures either appearing via Pepper's Ghost or in some form of film. The transformation of black and white drawings to first colour and then live characters was inspiring.

The Haunted House wasn't haunted at all! Instead it told an extremely brief version of Christmas Carol, showed Mr Nickleby hanging himself, a few odd characters such as Beadle and Mrs Corney, and a short story about a chair which magically transformed into a man.

The boat ride through the sewers needed more scenery, hopefully things to come.... There were lots of Dick van Dyke-esque voices to be heard but little to see before a short backward drop and a dousing which really didn't require the purchase of a waterproof cape for £2 on the way in!
A quick visit to a graveyard where very little happened and three characters shown momentarily and the ride was over... thankfully the whole place was not particularly busy and we hadn't had to queue for this. We could almost have done it again - but we didn't as we still had Dotheboys Hall and the film theatre to see.

The schoolroom was overseen by a human headmaster who brandished a cane in the air and admonished everyone who entered. There were old fashioned desks but that was it - these were inlaid with computer screens and a Dickens trivia game which took the form of snakes and ladders whiled away a good ten minutes!

The film however was 3D and very funny indeed. The effects were good and the humour probably passed the children by as they grasped the air in the hope of catching the pages or the rings that flew towards them and hovered over their heads.

Then it was out into the over bright and modern gift emporium, badly named the Old Curiosity Shop.

Well - it was fun being there but it could be so much more. More characters were needed to wander around such as the Beadle or Oliver asking passersby for more. More scenes were needed for the boat ride which just relies on the water drop for excitement and the haunted house could do with a Tale of Two Cities beheading at the very least!

The evening was spent wandering the streets of picturesque Canterbury
oohing and aahing over the scattering of real historical buildings among the more recent and sighing at the sight of narrow waterways besmirched with Pizza Express signs! Supper was taken at Weavers, one of the older establishments with decking along the river's edge and a canopy of leaves and flowers to provide a delightful setting for a birthday toast.